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.

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.

Emerald City is centered on the sheltered inner peninsula jutting into the Albian River, with access to Malory Bay and the islands, built upon three main hills, modest in size compared to the mountainous terrain in the surrounding area, but still fairly steep. The city has since spread across the inlet to the western or outer peninsula and along the south of the riverbank eastward as well as pushing south towards the mountains.

The downtown area of the city is towards the waterfront, the early center of Emerald City’s livelihood and activity. Royal Hill, the northernmost of the city’s three main hills, lives up to its name with some of the most expensive real estate in E.C.. To the south rise University Hill, home of Emerald City University (ECU), and Sunset Hill, bordering the Red River. As the hills level out into a broad valley, the neighborhoods give way to the Eastern District and Lakeside, curving around Lake Vallee.

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.

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.

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.

The Eastern District
Southern Shore
Sunset Hill
University Hill

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