A map of the world of Kamandi, last boy on Earth, invented by Jack Kirby. Expanding on the original map shown in the comic book...
Long ago, there had been an era of heroes, brightly clad individuals with astounding abilities who battled villains equally improbable. An era of wonders (and occasional grim disasters), which had come to an end as national governments, increasingly savvy in the ways of the demi-gods and grasping the technologies the titans had created, exterminated the villains with extreme prejudice, while the heroes aged and died or left for other planets, and in some cases suffered “unfortunate accidents.” The old Cold War, in which two great power blocks had glared at each other over high walls of ideology, had mellowed as the ordinary and weak humans which ran them came to find common purpose in making it again a world of men, not demi-gods. Capitalism, that flourishing and productive weed, spread even to the utmost realms of the Red East, and the lords of Eurasia adopted a form of state-capitalism in which profit rather than ideological purity mattered most (the old ideologues were bought off with a slice of the profits to conduct their own experiments to create an ideal society in the wilds of Siberia.
A new era dawned, in which giant corporations and criminal organizations (often interlocking or even indistinguishable) overpowered all but the mightiest of national governments. A brilliant but corrupt era, with genetically modified animal servants, cyborgs, super-drugs, android assassins, and endless low-level wars between corporate barons, between crime lords, and between corporations and criminals. New science heroes emerged to battle the new enemies of human freedom and security. Many work for the shadowy international organization known as the Global Peace Agency, most notably OMAC, the one-man army corps. The GPA’s true mission, given to it by the aliens who were its ultimate founders and backers, was to prevent a dreadful global catastrophe foreseen by the aliens.
To this day nobody is sure of the exact cause and nature of the Great Disaster, although Twisted Science is widely believed to have played a major role. A titanic vortex of swirling energies materialized in Western Australia and the Indian Ocean, creating planet-wide atmospheric disturbances. Entire new land masses formed – some say they arose from the sea, others that they simply materialized from thin air, still others that they were built by some guy flying around in colorful underwear to cap super-volcanoes – while other lands and islands sank, the Earth’s crust cracked, earthquakes and tidal waves abounded and volcanoes erupted. In places the fabric of space itself seems to have broken down, as formerly conjoined bits of South America suddenly found themselves separated by wide stretches of water. The situation was not helped by various government, super-corporations, and criminal organizations either blaming it on some enemy or another, or deciding that if the world was coming to an end, they might as well take their enemies with them. Atomic bombs and weapons of super-science added their contribution to the general chaos.
The final blow to human civilization occurred almost unnoticed at the time.
The release of cortexin – a self-replicating protein similar to prion diseases, and as incurable by normal medical methods – took place during the chaos of the immediate post-Disaster era, somewhere in North America, and spreading rapidly world-wide. It caused strange changes in the genetics of humans and many species of wild beasts: the beasts grew more intelligent, and began to stand upright and develop hands instead of paws, while the humans slid down the evolutionary ladder, growing less rational, less able to plan and invent, in some cases regressing all the way to ape-like animals. A few humans gained increased mental power – only to lose it in madness and self-destruction.
People tried to find places to hide from the Change, but in the chaos of the post-Disaster world there were few places where one could seal oneself off from the environment, and those who did find shelter often found they had brought the self-replicating chemical with them.
There was an era of darkness, in which men lost their wits but animals were not yet able to construct organized histories. Strange things moved in the darkness. Time passes.
The world of “A.D.” (After Disaster) is a strange one. Many new states have come into existence, created by intelligent animals on the bits and pieces of human civilization. They speak the languages of the former human nations, their great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers having learned speech from the last of the still sapient humans, and their culture is often a strange mélange of fragments of human civilization and inventions of their own. There has been a burst of myth-making: humans are widely considered to have been struck down by God or Gods for their sins, and the innocent beasts have inherited the world. The non- or semi-sapient humans are looked upon with contempt and in some cases as little better than vermin. And there are those of the new generation who refuse to believe humans once ruled over mute beasts, and claim that humans have always been dumb, and the ruins are the products of former animal civilizations.
Some nations are kinder: Dogs retain some of their historical kindliness to humans (although you wouldn’t want to scratch one of the Dogs behind their ears, it wouldn’t work out well), Dolphins (see below) treat their human servants well, while the Lions of North America believe humans deserve pity for their fallen state and attempt to protect the wilderness areas where they can live free, although they often also keep humans as pets. (It’s a cultural, not racial thing in their case: the Lions of the Indus river area treat humans like crap).
Not every species have developed intelligence. Few bird species and no amphibians have developed intelligence, while a variety of mammals from aardvarks to horses  to zebras have proven immune to the effects of cortexin. And not all species have developed fully human manipulative abilities: Donkeys remain hoofed quadrupeds and are essentially slave races wherever they are. Better off are the Pony allies of the Steppe wolves, thanks to their remarkable skill at wielding weapons with their mouths and ability to maintain an upright posture for an extended period, and the bipedal Camels do alright with their pincer-like forepaws, standing upright (if hump-backed). The greater Snakes, on the other hand, have no limbs at all, but they have grown huge and terrible, and combined with their hypnotic powers, this has allowed them to enslave other species to act as their hands. Dolphins and killer whales employ trained humans for a similar porpoise.
There are sentient tigers, wolves, dogs, leopards, rats, gorillas, bats (several species), lions, pumas (a fairly rare species), beavers, bears, cheetahs, jackals, crocodiles, lizards, iguanas, donkeys, camels, ponies, coyotes, wombats, kangaroos, koalas, moles, monkeys (several kinds), boars, baboons, rabbits, mole-rats, snakes (several kinds), sloths, and cats (small, but often psychic), Kiwis and Toucans, with amphibious barracuda-men and shark-men representing the fishes. There are also invertebrate intelligences, most often marine: octopi, giant squid, lobsters, shrimp, snails, clams, crabs, and caterpillars. Not to mention penguins.
This is not an exhaustive list.
Not all of these species have managed to create states of their own, and many states are dominated by one species with other species taking the role of second-class citizens or servants, if they are not expelled altogether. Many species live in small and scattered populations, or even hide out in desert or wilderness. Some, like the moles, wombats, and rats tend to live _below_ other animal civilizations: the rats, rarely amicably. Large areas are uninhabited (by intelligent animals) wastelands, forests, or areas poisoned by radiation or toxic chemicals, but even inhabited areas tend to be thinly populated by the standards of late human civilization. The barren and mountainous “new lands”, only slowly obtaining soil and vegetation, are only just beginning to be colonized.
Gorillas are one of the more successful species: besides founding several states of their own (oddly enough, none in their African homeland: but then, conditioned Gorilla servants and zoo Gorillas greatly outnumbered those left in tropical Africa by the time of the Disaster), they are widespread globally, their strength, considerable intelligence, and imagination having given them valuable positions in non-Gorilla states world-wide. Anywhere on the planet, outside the most viciously speciesist states and the more dangerous no-go areas, if you wait around long enough, a Gorilla will show up. The one great weakness of the Gorillas is in fact their imaginative nature: they are suckers for new religions or philosophies, and Gorilla cults and secret societies crop up like mushrooms, much to the amusement of more staid species like Lions or Dogs.
The caterpillar men live for the day they will be cocooned and emerge as lovely butterfly men: the fact that they will then mate and die in a single year matters not to them. If they offer to cocoon you, it's an honor not to be turned down.
The world is far from united, and even the most advanced societies often have very hazy notions of what goes on across the sea or even a couple states over. Even the best maps, putting together the knowledge of multiple nations, leave huge areas blank or adorned with the equivalent of “here be dragons.” Pirates, dangerous marine intelligences, and weird weather phenomena means that trade and travel routes are often quite limited and restricted. Most states are on the shaky side, being very recent constructions, and are often of the warlord type: the various “republics” tend to be pretty sketchy. Human constitutions, laws, etc., where some records remain, tend to be adapted rather haphazardly. And there are an abundance of kings, rajas, emperors, and presidents-for-life.
Given the still substantial radiation levels in some areas and the various odd persistent chemicals in the environment, mutations are common, and malformed or sickly Animals are common: some Animal states treat them with compassion, others kill them and feed their remains to the hungry. Occasionally mutants with strange and dangerous powers appear, or powerful giants: if born among the more primitive peoples, they may be worshipped as demigods, gods or those blessed by the same. Strange mutant non-sentient animals are everywhere: in some areas, such as the former Great Lakes area or West Africa, weird abominations have actually become the norm.
Technology levels vary widely, depending on what bits and pieces of human technology proved salvageable and what could be replicated and repaired. Some regions are early modern black powder weapons and halberds, while others have laser canon (not many, though). Rocket and jet plane travel has been lost, although biplanes and hovercraft exist in some places. Chemical weapons and artillery of late 20th century quality are being produced in quantity. The art of nuclear weapon building, fortunately, appears to have been lost, although there are still a few functioning nuclear power stations here and there (they built them to last, back in the 21st century). Cars and motorbikes (electrical, due to shortages of fuel) are used in many nations. Maintenance and recreation of technology has been greatly assisted by the appearance of animals with an unusual knack for science and technology: they used to call them “science heroes” or “mad scientists” back when it was a human phenomenon, but none of them so far have put on colorful costumes and set out with super-gadgets to fight (or create) crime. (Perhaps animals are more sensible than humans in some ways).
Speaking of humans, there are a number of human-derived variants out there. Some humans have degenerate to the levels of (pre-change) apes, while others more resemble primitive cave men, communicating with grunts and gestures more than words and living (not very efficient) hunter gatherer lifestyles. Sometimes these can be trained to speak (particularly the occasional cotexin-resistant mutant, who still usually grow up largely non-verbal due to their environment), and in some areas humans are being deliberately bred for the ability to speak [2a], although with long human generations progress is slow. The best cases speak about as well as Movie Stereotype Red Chief and reason about as well as the disabled guy who bags at your supermarket, and these “superior” humans are prized by dolphins looking for “hands” or those animals who arrange various sorts of Wacky Races or gladiatorial contests featuring humans. There are other, odder, variants, though. Some retain human intelligence while taking on bestial form, notably the underground “gopher men” underlying the Tiger-Gorilla border in N. America. In what was once Eastern Turkestan, a state of hideous mutants the extermination of both “baseline” humans and animals. There are the Sleepers of India. A still intelligent civilization exists in hiding in South America, their genetically modified bodies growing to adulthood, growing old, and dying within five to six years of frantic activity. Radioactive men really wish the scientist who created them had created some radioactive women, too. Nobody is sure whether the Sand Men used to be human or not. In caverns under the Moon, fragile spindly humans are forever cut off from their home world by gravity, and looking at what has happened to it, they don’t really mind that much: all they have to fear is fear itself, and Moon Monsters. And there are others…
Also surviving from before the Disaster is a variety of machine intelligences. Some are relatively harmless or even beneficent (the reestablishment of civilization in what was Great Britain owes much to the advice of a well-intended AI), others are hostile to organic life and sometimes simply insane. The cyborgs of the Pannonian Wastes lost their organic parts to cortexin-driven degeneration and old age a long time ago, but their drive to protect and repair their organic bits leads them to seek for “replacement parts”, most often from wild humans, but also from sentient animals in a pinch. The new parts almost invariably fail to work smoothly with the cybernetics, but they keep on trying. Elsewhere, the city-sized mass of moving machinery the Camels call the City of Brass slowly grows by a few acres a year and chews to pieces any organic life foolish enough to try to enter, while New Chicago, once the largest automated “historical theme park” in North America, is now a collective, self-sustaining mechanical intelligence whose robotic gangsters and flappers and jazz players and underdog baseball players are universally hostile to any intruders who disrupt the ongoing show which is it’s subconscious. A few giant war machines roam the landscape, looking endlessly for a foe that no longer exists. And in Japan, a mad computer which thinks itself the goddess protector of the Japanese race, tries endlessly to recreate the Japanese in the form of machines immune to disease or radiation, and seeks for “intact” humans for a reference more accurate than innumerable anime episodes. Strange, damaged, but often still powerful machines spin through the skies above the atmosphere, some waiting for a sign from Earth.
Surprisingly enough, the collapse of civilization did not put an end to corporations. Notable is the Pan-Pacific Corporation, with major centers in the north American Lion states, the Orangutan lands, southern *India, and the Island of Seafarers, which has done unto the backward inhabitants of the Hawaiian islands what Dole and Co. did OTL, but haven’t bothered to get it annexed by any meddling governments. And then there is Sacker’s.
Sacker’s is the brainchild of Sacker, one of the Greater Serpents, whose parents migrated from Africa in search of more opportunity than exists in the strictly hierarchical Empire. To be blunt, the Greater Serpents are on the average a good deal sharper than your average animal person (although other species rudely call it “cunning” rather than intelligence), and Sacker essentially recreated Walmart. Perhaps the richest sentient on the planet, Sacker’s department store chain dominates the markets of the more civilized bits of the Americas outside the Lion states and Europe, and in last couple decades (his is a long-lived species) he has branched out into a wide variety of other profitable but less conventional enterprises, from smuggling to piracy to gambling to arms dealing – some say that he has a fang at the throat of the Tiger Empire’s economy, and the ruthless ruler of eastern America dares not interfere in his business. At the very least, he runs the Florida peninsula as his private fief.
A WALK AROUND THE WORLD
A vast area of the south Pacific, like much of the Atlantic, is plagued by giant waterspouts which seem to appear with no reference to the weather. Something odd seems to be going on in the deep waters, and aquatic intelligences claiming ignorance are often shifty-eyed and tentacle-twitchy. Of course, odd things take place on land, too: an area of one of the extensive new islands of the Pacific appears to operate in ways that are not good for sentient minds, with effects varying from merely disconcerting to deeply gruesome and terrifying.
Australia is wetter than it used to be, and dominated above ground by the rats and kangaroos, fixated on the Vortex to the west, and below by the Wombats, mostly concerned with rocks, minerals, digging, and quality assurance. Within a wall of storms, the Vortex itself is surrounded by a golden wall, part matter, part energy, many miles high, and penetrable only at a very few points, heavily guarded by the Kangarat Murder Society, which has developed an arsenal of boomerang-based weapons that no doubt pleases the ghost of a long-dead supervillain. Rumor has it, based on a few valiant or crazy explorers and scientists, that the vortex is a tear in the fabric of space-time, and at its center innumerable alternate universes, pasts and futures, all meet. But getting there, even if one were to get past the Murder Society and the Wall, is not easy: the energy storm is not easily navigated or survived, and the outer layers of the vortex have become the home of increasing numbers of the hideous spawn of Chaugnar Faugn, elephant-trunked and horrid, riding and feeding off the energy waves, but always happy to break off and feed on the sweeter energies of life…
On the islands of New Zealand, there is (mostly) war, endless ritualized conflict between the Kiwi-men of the inland hills and mountains, whose versatile beaks and long, prehensile tongues make for surprisingly adequate substitutes for hands, and the amphibious Shark-men of the coastal areas.
To the north of Australia, the pelagic state of the Orangutans is much more peaceful, being a mellow, civilized folk who can still beat you to death with your ripped off arms if you start making trouble. Their principal headache currently are the savage giant sentient Komodo Dragons now overpopulating the eastern half-drowned remains of New Guinea, and attempting to push west. (The Cultists of Mindanao are fairly harmless if they don’t capture you for a sacrifice, operating as they are off a bunch of tattered old editions of HP Lovecraft).
Former Japan is split in two by colossal new peaks and the machine realm of Amaterasu, with the north a backwards but pretty badass approximate recreation of Old Japan with odd bits of technology and actually functioning magic, while the south is one of the more high-tech regions of the planet, although the locals insist on making everything excessively kawaii  in a somewhat misguided belief that it captures the highest aspirations of former Japanese civilization.
In continental east Asia, two of the largest states on the planet clash in endless war, as armies of Lions with a Genghis Khan fetish (The Secret History of the Mongols is widely read) battle Tigers which have constructed a religion on the basis of a (poorly translated) copy of Mao’s Little Red Book. Neighboring states worry about one or the other finally winning, since they will then be free to turn their huge if somewhat backwards WWII-with-insufficient-motorization army on their neighbors. The Tigers are at the same time fighting a low-level war with the multi-species insect collective known as the “hive” which covers most of former Burma/Myanmar, with which little communication seems possible.
Within the Lion territories of former North Korea, there lies the Forbidden Zone, where the bottomless Vaults of Cho-Sun reach the surface, and those who explored those mysterious caves rarely returned. The former Emperors forbade further explorations, a decree considered by many young Lion warriors to be based on foolish superstition. After all, surely the stories have been embellished or made up entirely. [5a.]
The “sealed land” of former Tibet is surrounded by a psychic barrier which baffles any attempt to enter, and the mysterious white giants who inhabit its mountains are only distantly seen with the aid of telescopes. The inhabitants of Sri Lanka have taken Buddhism and gone…strange places with it. Nepal is a nation of fearsome martial arts Pandas, giant Cobras rule Bengal, and south India is an anarchic monkey and ape dominated land, while another gaudy Lion empire lies to the west. In the center lies the mysterious wasteland appearing on somewhat speculative North American maps as “Raji-Land”: protected by ancient but still functional war machines, an underground remnant of humanity survives here, but after so many years of existing within a cyberspace simulation, they are no longer capable of surviving outside their suspension pods, and the Million Sleepers, in spite of efforts to grow new children in artificial wombs, probably represent another human dead end.
Most of former Iran has been wiped out by volcanic activity and new mountains, with minor states along the borders of the largely uninhabited zone. To the north lie strange and dangerous lands, the former Soviet Union having gone down particularly hard in the Great Disaster: toxic wastes, wilderness inhabited by savage human tribes and animal tribes hardly less savage, the land of the omnicidal Un-Men under the Czar of Flesh, and the strange forest-dwelling degenerated, worm-like creatures known as the Polar Parasites for their hatred of warmth, riders and enslavers of any warm-blooded sentient foolish enough to penetrate their forests. And then there are the Communi-Bears.
In their underground endless tunnels, Breeding Prodigiously (or at least as much so as the slow expansion of their synthetic food supply allows) and maintaining the machinery, the Bears of the Socialist Perfect State await the return of Marx and Lenin, when they will return to the surface and liberate the world from the Capitalist Blood-Suckers (the schoolbook pictures are quite gory). Occasionally one finds in a disused tunnel a small, frail-looking skeleton with unimpressive teeth and no claws, usually with the remains of clothing. These are believed to be the relics of some sort of engineered specialized animal that died off (from unclear causes). Things are of course as perfect as they can be in this perfect socialist regime, but of late heresy has arisen, and part of the outlying tunnel system has broken off and collapsed the connecting passages. There is some dispute in the Supreme Soviet on how to deal with them: re-conquer them, or simply let the Inevitable Current of History destroy them for their impiety?
The Island of Sorcery is just what it says on the tin. Mostly they want to be left alone, as do the desert-dwelling Mirage Makers. War continues in the Middle East, although at least it currently lacks a territorial basis, the former Holy Land now being mostly underwater. How the jackals, weasels, and hedgehogs of the Sacred Scroll picked up on Judiasm is unclear, but they are a little better informed about it than the People of the Book are about Chrislam, although the hedgehogs do worry if they are in fact non-kosher.
Africa is home to various, mostly somewhat backwards states, varying from the fairly civilized land of the Elephant Men, to the bloody horrors of the land of the Horrible Hung-Ups  to the utter psychic insanity of the Mad-Hole. The Elephant Men, twelve feet tall and six feet wide, able to squash a Lion or Gorilla with a single blow, have crude hands/forefeet, but their supple and now branching trunks can do quite delicate work. From their capital of Celestville, they rule over a variety of species, although they have granted autonomy to various Lion warlords to forestall rebellion driven by Lion pride (it’s uncertain when and where the Lions picked up the notion that they were “the king of the beasts”, but they’ve never put it down). South Africa is anarchic in a relaxed sort of way, the Panther lands are like the Holy Roman Empire crossed with Game of Thrones, the Snake Empire is ruthless, tyrannical, and deals with outsiders only at designated border towns, lest visitors bring unfortunate ideas to the servant species. The Mole-Rat Queens do Communism much better than the Bears of Siberia, and the Crocodile rulers of the Nile have just had another pyramid collapse on them. (The architect is executed and they try again: the Supreme Fang wants to have a monument to match the ancient rulers of this land, the Pyramids of Gizeh having survived the Great Disaster to impress new races with only minor damage, a little scorching from the Burning of Cairo and some superficial stone block losses from earthquakes.)
Mutant monsters roam the Western Sahara, which is in fact greening due to climate changes. Minor states hug the Mediterranean coast north of the vast toxic upswelling of raw oil from vast deep fields that would have made North Africa fabulously rich if they had been discovered before the Disaster, but now just is a colossal nuisance to the neighbors. The new king of the Lemurs is rumored to be a total party animal, while the Cheetah kingdom is Prussian in its military discipline out of fear of its southern neighbors.
To the south, the Penguins have reached the natural carrying capacity of their barren lands. They regard the northern lands with envious eyes, and with intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, they slowly and surely draw their plans against them.
Western Europe, for various reasons, was less devastated than many other parts of the world, and along with former Turkey, is the closest thing to liberal civilization this world has, with the ancient and half-forgotten, but sacred “Atlantic Testament” creating a functioning peace pact and mutual defense alliance between the curiously English Dogs of the British isles, the autocratic Wolves of former France, the rather hysterical (not in the funny way) Baboon kingdom of Iberia, the rather revolutionary and politically quarrelsome Wolves of Italy, the Bear Junta of Anatolia, the anarchic Gorilla republic of the southern Balkans, and the rather efficiently run Gorilla monarchy that extends from the former Rhine far into the rubble of former Eastern Europe. Although all these states are raw and new, they are functional and have at least the rudiments of functional bureaucracies, etc. Currently, there is some disgruntlement: the Britaneks are troubled by Scottish separatist terrorists (some of them Scotties), whilethe “Germaneks” have reached the limits of their expansion in the east in the face of the fierce Pony-Wolf hordes, and there is talk of a joint operation between Germaneks, Greks, and the non-Testament but friendly Bat aristocracy of Romanek to put an end to the Cyborg Menace once and for all and divide up Pannonia between themselves. This makes jealous the Napoleonek Wolves, whose own ambitions to expand into North Africa have been stymied by the un-crossable Sea of Terror and the Garibaldeks uncooperative attitude: the Emperor has suggested that the time may have come for the glorious nation of Napoleonia to cross the sea and bring order to the wild lands of northeast South America…
Under their glorious Empress Elsa Ist, the Snow Wizards maintain their neutrality and keep foreign menaces at bay through use of weird weather-control technology reconstructed from pre-Disaster mad science.
Ships passing one of the new islands of the North Atlantic report UFOs, or at least unidentified flying objects. They are in fact scouts from the distant world of Ziranda, shape-changing organic ships piloted by energy beings, drawn across vast reaches of space by the strange energies of the Vortex. They have established a hidden base on the island, and are currently struggling to adapt themselves to the terrestrial environment. Various powers have laid claim to the vast new mass of land in the North Atlantic, but lack of resources and other concerns have prevented most from doing more than flag-planting expeditions, save for the Bulldog Britaneks, who have a foothold in the form of a still relatively intact slice of Ireland.
South America was the most thoroughly devastated region of the globe, and much of the north is jungle, barbaric tribes, and a vast region of cratered, fused rock (the original cause of which is lost in the mists of the Great Disaster). In this region hovers a great metal sphere, magnetically suspended high in the atmosphere, a still-intact remnant of the age before the Great Disaster destroyed human civilization. Once scientists toiled here to reconstruct humanity for the new era: they are all dead now, and the sphere is inhabited by sophisticated but non-sentient repair robots, a few radioactive men (capable of turning themselves into near-indestructible living metal but unable to reproduce), a dwarfish, big-headed mutant with similarly poor dating prospects, and a jar filled with a mass of seething jelly, a collective mass of innumerable microbes, which if it ever found its way to the Earth below could kill every animal on the planet within a single year. To the west, bats with claws capable of cutting through metal soar in search of prey. South of a broad band of jungle, a strange wilderness of grey fungi grows a mile or so wider every year, consuming plant and animal life with no discrimination, the strange spores bringing curious and often maddening insight to those who inhale them. To the east, small Anteater and Sloth kingdoms: further south, the vibrant but coup-prone republic of the Beagle Brazileks, currently pestered by air pirates basted in the almost lawless small states of the southern cone fragments.
Separated by the stormy Andean Channel, to the west lie two great and mountainous islands, the first home to the barbarous splendor of the Jaguar sun-worshippers and their highland-dwelling Toucan allies, and the other the mysterious land of the multi-species God-Watchers, whose mix of scientific and mystical efforts to reveal the Divine have led to the unveiling of what should not be unveiled.
Prosperous undersea states of many species span the Continental shelves of the Atlantic coasts and the Caribbean, with only limited contact with surface-dwellers. In the Caribbean, the chaotic small kingdoms are a dangerous, unsavory place full of piracy, smuggling and worse things, dominated by Panthers and a “safehouse” for illegal actors from around the North Atlantic. The Bermuda Triangle is a risky place to travel, with strange storms coming out of nowhere and occasional glowing mists which simply “vanish” boats, and thereby provides refuge for the tiny humanoid inhabitants of many small islands, a monkey-derived species that remained small even as they grew in intelligence.
North America holds several states rivaling the European powers in size and development, but there is no peace treaty keeping things civilized. The Lion-dominated United States in the west is fairly democratic (if you are a Lion: if not, well, it’s not as bad as, say, 1950s Louisiana for a black man, but it’s not great either), but also militaristic and arrogant. Hollywood is back making movies, and conditions for extras are even more lethal than in the old DW Griffith days. The Lion state has poor relations with the socialistic Union of American Communes, a state west of the Mississippi dominated by Gorillas in funny hats, which has prevented them from forming a common front against the rising menace of the Tiger empire to the east, which has in recent years under its energetic Emperor Caesar the Great overrun a couple smaller animal states and bitten a chunk out of the Communes in a short, sharp war. While the Lion realm has something of a Diesel-punk America air to it, the Tiger Empire is very Roman-flavored, with arena battles, chariot races, and occasionally chariot-shaped motor vehicles. The Tigers worship military power – to the point where they have made a religious fetish out of what is perhaps the world’s only still-functioning ICBM – and are increasingly in denial about the former dominance of mankind, which leads to a lot of destroying of historical records and monuments and frequent textbook revisions. [6a] (Oddly, in spite of being far less democratic than the Lions, they are also more tolerant of non-Tiger subjects). In the ruins of old Washington DC, shunned by the Tigers for various reasons, dwells a secret colony of Gorillas, who seek the mysterious “Nixon tapes”, which they believe will reveal the true cause and nature of the Great Disaster.
In the now much expanded St Lawrence seaway area, the intelligent and noble dolphins maintain their underwater cities with the aid of human servants or “squires”, cities partly filled with water and partly filled with air for their servants to live in and so that the Dolphins can breathe without popping up to the surface every time. The Great Lakes are now a single large body of water with many islands. The mutant sealife is strange and freaky, but it ain’t nothing compared to the lands beyond the strange glowing “radiation barrier”  which largely separates what was western Canada from the rest of North America. Beyond lies what is known as the “domain of the devils”, or “the insect revolution ”, a land of giant insects (some of which can breathe fire) and a curiously (given the latitude) lush climate, and other mutated and giant (if less gigantic than the insects) species, along with extraordinary plant life not seen anywhere else on the planet. To preserve this richness the nations of the Atlantic Testament, in cooperation with the Lions, have pledged to protect the Domain of the Devils from exploitation, but intruders from Tiger territory have already begun poaching the local species and carrying out mass exterminations of a scale comparable to the most enthusiastic of 19th century Buffalo hunters.
There is an air of change in the wind. New ideas, new politics, new inventions. Some Animal scientists dream of sending rockets into space. More human children are being born immune to the cortexin proteinoid, although their upbringing generally does not leave them particularly well-socialized or verbal. In a hidden bunker near the half-flooded ruins of New York an ancient man, who has lasted well beyond the normal human lifespan thanks to remnants of a once great science, feels the time has come to fully explain to his blond-haired (and cortexin-immune) multiple-times-grand-son the true nature of his legacy and the world he lives in. And in orbit, ancient and still only partially functional after many years of self-repair efforts, Brother Eye waits for a signal from a descendant of Buddy Blank…
 “Trainable” Lions and Tigers were particularly popular as guard animals or simply display items among the rich of North America.
 There is a rumor about a race of sentient horses with primitive human slaves on an island somewhere, but one hears all kinds of things.
[2a] And for obedience
 Another immigrant snake family has immense influence at the court of the North *Japanese Shogun.
 Magical as well as “scientific” heroes once stood tall on this world, but magic is now rare and often considered a myth by the inhabitants of many animal nations.
 Including the giant mecha with which they battle the machine minions of Amaterasu.
[5a] The great pits of picked-clean human bones are believable, and the stories about other skeletons chained to great dead machines may be so. There may well have been rusted but still deadly defense machines, although one may question the reports of rotten human brains floating in murky fluid at their center. But the White Crawlers? The Hungry Ghosts? The Blind Feeders at the Lake of Abomination? The Endless Tentacles of Steel? Ghost stories to scare cubs. The Great White Face, the God in the Pit, which eternally mutters its own praises from atop a moving, murderous mountain of writhing machinery and partial but still alive human bodies? Clearly the product of waaay too much kumis.
 The origin of the name is variously interpreted as having to do with either their tree-mounted cities or their habit of hanging sacrificial victims from said trees until all their flesh has rotted off. The cult has recently spread to the Sloth-men of South America, who fortunately are much less energetic in their pursuit of Death.
[6a] This requires a great deal of ignoring stuff, but Tigers do double-think and rationalizing to maintain The Narrative as well as humans do, and since it became part of the official state line of course doubters have kept their mouths shut.
 Another phenomenon nobody can make heads or tails out of.
 Much bigger than those of the Hive, but also much less unified and organized: otherwise the rest of North America would be screwed.