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
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
punch-ably 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.
A GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND
For years, things in Emerald City were stable, dependable.
Sure, times were tough when the lumber and
paper industries took a hit, and again when fishing and
farming suffered, but they got better when the tech boom
arrived, and companies like MarsTech, USNet, and Brande
Management brought new jobs and new opportunities.
Rapid development brought its own growing pains but,
still, Emerald City didn’t have alien armadas filling the sky,
or mad gods trying to turn it into a Hell on Earth.
Unlike Freedom City, Emerald has never had more than a
few scattered costumed champions over the years, and
none that stuck around long enough to make much of
an impact. To most local residents, it’s just one of those
things–-like how the city’s never been able to attract an
NBA franchise. When it comes to capes, however, the truth
is far more sinister than David Stern considering Emerald
“too small market.”
Emerald’s skies were free of flying figures, but also of aerial
battles. There were a few costumed types now and again,
but not so you would really notice. Things were stable…
until the Silver Storm.