Lion and Dragon - Rebel Yell
Everything stated here will be assumed as common knowledge to all characters and NPCs in the adventure. Other specific details will be revealed as the story progresses. =)
Post-United States Dystopia/Near-Future
New Orleans, LA
Circa 23rd century
The American federal government was on the verge of collapse in the wake of a great financial crisis. International markets, backed by superior military technology, pressured the government to repay outstanding debts. Various desperate measures turned the citizens against the government and lead to a new civil war. Two competing corporate factions came to the aid of each side of the conflict, providing resources in exchange for favorable market shares. The battle raged for nearly a decade until it was fought to a stalemate, after which time the competing conglomerates established sovereign power as “protectors“. Using the guise of private contractors resolving to “rebuild America“, the corporations took control of the country’s vital resources and manpower for their own use. The Republic of Texas, with the military support of the Israeli-Arab Union, maintained its independence and kept its borders secure from invading influences. Other regions of the country not deemed economically viable were left in the hands of anarchy or autocratic rule. Most of the Southern states banded together and maintained neutral sovereignty but were recently invaded by the eastern faction, owned by the European-based capitalist empire Mammon Industries.
The adventure begins 20 years after the Mammon occupation of key regions in the South, specifically Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Georgia, with its rich self-sustaining economy and dense population, has been heavily pressured by Mammon to join the union as well. However, they have thus far avoided outright occupation by maintaining a strong military force and advantageous trade agreements. In the former state of Louisiana, the company established a large bioengineering research facility somewhere in the outskirts of Baton Rouge. The Mammon security force is stationed at what was once known as Fort Polk near Leesvillle, but quarters a significant amount of soldiers in and around major metropolitan cities. Dissenters, prisoners, and other unlucky people have been spirited away to the research lab, where they are experimented on by geneticists. Rejects who survive the testing are released back into society, where they are oftentimes ostracized for their grotesque appearances and bizarre behavior.
The city-dwellers of Louisiana come from many different backgrounds and classes. The wealthiest members of society are politicians and leaders who either pay tribute to the company, or else are members of the company themselves looking to establish themselves politically as governors and magistrates. Among their ranks are people who once served in the Irish and New Creole Mafias that held a tight grip on major Louisiana urban centers long before Mammon came in and usurped them. The middle and working classes are compelled by law to become employees of Mammon Industries. Company workers are generally well-taken care of, but have limited personal freedoms. They are also put under constant surveillance by their superiors, whom are also being watched by leaders in the higher rungs of the company ladder. Small business owners and other workers must pay a heavy tax if they refuse to join the company. The poor are generally ignored by the company and left to fend for themselves, but are subject to constant harassment by security forces whenever they pose a nuisance to company operations. Just below the poor are a small minority of outcasts: former humans who were mutated by the lab experiments. The two types of mutants are the Animoids, humans spliced with animal genes, and the Devils, those who were experimented on to the point of being totally unrecognizable to anything in the natural world. The animoids, though officially treated as second-class citizens by the company, are generally accepted by the locals and regarded somewhat amiably. Devils, on the other hand, are forced to remain in segregated quarters and ghettos within the city, and are generally viewed with fear and distrust. This social problem is exacerbated by the fact that most devils become mentally unstable in addition to their physical deformities.
Outside of the cities occupied by Mammon, the rural Louisiana natives remain somewhat the same as they have always been. Cajun and voodoo culture thrive in these forbidding wetlands, where many folk have found refuge far away from the tentacled influences of Mammon and their private army.
Some of the wildlife has been transformed due to the reckless experimentations going on in the research lab. Many stories have been told of large man-eating gators and grizzlies roaming about, cursed with mutations that make them all the more dangerous. There are rumors of giant lizards as well, which some even claim to be dinosaurs, but nobody has come forward to validate these tall tales.