From Emerald City Knights Prelude: The Silver Storm -
WELCOME TO THE BOOMTOWN
Its founders dubbed Emerald City “the City of Destiny”, because for them it was the last stop on the continent’s edge. With nothing but the deep blue sea beyond, a man had no choice but to meet his fate there—whatever it was. Even in the present age of supersonic jets and a shrinking globe, Emerald City remains the last stop for most who journey there, both for reasons joyous and tragic. Now, it’s the heroes’ turn to come face to face with their destiny.
IN THE CITY
Emerald City is located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States near the Atlas Mountain range, a quiet, humble neighbor of Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. Founded on Malory Bay, it’s been best-known to fishermen (by trade and by hobby) and lumberjacks through most of its history.
The anglers and all others who venture there find a cosmopolitan place, befitting a gateway to the Far East, including a large, old, and influential Asian population who sought refuge from other, increasingly exclusionary, areas of the Pacific Northwest during the late 1800s. A century later, Emerald City is still graced by a large Eastern District and a “Jadetown” area sizable enough to rival San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Today, first-time visitors are greeted by twin giants: one a monument of God’s creation, and the other of man’s. The dormant volcanic peak of Mount Stanley has framed the city skyline from the start, and in 1968 was joined by the Emerald Tower, looming impressively towards the heavens (check out the cover of the M&M Hero’s Handbook for a shot of the Tower).
In the last two decades, Emerald City has grown almost exponentially, becoming a true boomtown. The city proper is quite large, surrounded by a number of expanding suburbs and bedroom communities. Driving this growth was the establishment of MarsTech, Inc. (MSTI on the New York Stock Exchange) by the flamboyant plutocrat and techno-wizard Maximilian Mars. As MarsTech and other high-tech companies flourished, so did Emerald City, transforming the once-sleepy burgh into a leading center for the computer industry and other high-technology businesses.
GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
Nothing marks Emerald City newcomers more than making a Munchkin joke in public. They think it’s clever, but to longtime residents (and in truth) they’re just being punchably obvious and annoying. It’s all an understandable offshoot of the city’s 70-year-long love/hate relationship with The Wizard of Oz. There are many businesses and organizations that work overtime to avoid any association with the classic stories and legendary film, while others embrace the eponymous association wholeheartedly.
Those who revel in the city’s L. Frank Baum connection with the enthusiasm of flying monkeys successfully lobbied to have the open-air walking mall in the downtown shopping district dubbed the Yellow Brick Row. There, the street is indeed bricked just as advertised, duly painted yellow every year on the official birthday of the city, August 27th.