Protectors of Emerald City

Nice to meat you

How's my Jo-Jo doing?

Previously on Protectors of Emerald City:

Doctor Tau receives a mysterious phone call, and soon finds K12 in a cave nearby. When the Protectors return to the cave, K12’s cell room has vanished!

The invisible Helga Jackson stands on top of a mind-controlled Mukla, ready to tear down TAISAR.

Our heroes meet a useless Francine Placard at the downtown waste management plant.

The Protectors drive the Croc out of the sewers in Emerald City.

Hoenheim finds traces of his father at a campfire in a forest. Our heroes track his movements to an open field, where they find traces of a spaceship landing.

And now, another episode of Protectors of Emerald City!

It was an average day in Emerald City. K12 was out getting a smoothie with Hoenheim and Doctor Tau, and Witch was tending her shop. All of a sudden they heard Mukla in their heads, calling for their help. He sounded far off, like he was straining to communicate at a distance. He asked them to come meet him in his new homeland, the Califarian Forest, to talk about the problem.

Our heroes decided to drive, with Doctor Tau in the driver’s seat. However, Tau failed quite horribly at operating a vehicle on the ill-maintained roads, nearly scrapping the Mystery Machine. Witch took lead of the vehicle, bringing our heroes safely to Mukla’s homeland.

Our heroes approached Mukla’s giant stone throne. They could tell Mukla’s influence permeated his gorilla tribe. Mukla explained that his tribe gathers food from the Barillo trees in the Califarian Wetlands to the west. But recently, a group of crocodiles had moved in to the area, and were attacking their expedition teams. The crocodiles were led by a large, humanoid crocodile with large spikes on its back (a feature not seen in the Croc in Emerald City). Mukla asked the Protectors to drive the crocodiles out of the Wetlands so they could gather food in peace.

Our heroes questioned Mukla about why he didn’t just drive the crocodiles away himself. Mukla explained that this would be a last resort, due to the fact that he really dislikes water. Calling the Protectors was a second-to-last resort. Our heroes sighed and agreed to see what they could do.

The Protectors created a taser-like device using spare parts from the Dream Machine before venturing into the Wetlands. They kept themselves within the branches of the Barillo trees. The webbing pattern of the branches formed almost a second ground level above the marsh. Eventually our heroes noticed two crocodiles in the marsh below. One came up to the tree in which the Protectors sat, trying to climb and snap up at them, while the other sat patiently at the roots of another tree. Hoenheim taunted the climbing crocodile, with more inappropriate plans in mind, while Witch communicated with the patient crocodile using her powers of animal empathy. It was clear the patient crocodile was much more intelligent than a normal crocodile.

The patient crocodile explained to Witch that their group of crocodiles recently moved into the area, but that they are very hungry and looking for food. When Witch relayed this to Doctor Tau, he tried teleporting a barillo over to the patient crocodile. The crocodile was extremely surprised to see the barillo appear out of nowhere, but was entirely uninterested in eating it. Witch asked the patient crocodile to take them to its leader. The patient crocodile agreed, grabbing the attention of its comrade and swimming off for our heroes to follow.

Eventually they came to an area with a larger number of crocodiles. They approached a large web of barillo tree roots, upon which a large humanoid crocodile with spikes coming out of his back stood. He was hence referred to as Spike. Spike asked what brought our heroes here, in a husky voice not unlike the Croc. They explained that they were sent by the gorillas to the east, and questioned why the crocodiles were attacking them.

Spike explained that it was the will of Xal’Thuran that they should inhabit this region. He described to our heroes how Xal’Thuran bestowed them with great powers, and told them to inhabit this region. Spike was surprised that our heroes did not know of “the greatness of Xal’Thuran”, and was reluctant to tell them anything further about him before they could show they are trustworthy.

Spike described how when they arrived, food was relatively sparse in the Wetlands. The most satisfying source of food they could find was the gorillas who often venture into the Wetlands. If they could not hunt the gorillas, they would not be able to survive.

Spike also explained how his brother had gone with some crocodiles to the north, to Emerald City, to find more area in which to live. However, they were driven out, which placed more strain on their already low food supply in the Wetlands. Spike said his brother would be returning from an expedition to find new lands “soon”, but avoided the question of exactly when the Croc would return.

Our heroes asked Spike whether the crocodiles would be willing to make peace with the gorillas if they could provide a new source of food. Or maybe they forgot to ask, the GM is not quite sure. In any case, our heroes got the impression that if they could provide an alternate source of food for the crocodiles, they would gladly not hunt the gorillas anymore.

Doctor Tau remembered hearing about plants that grow meat being developed at TAISAR. With some reluctance, our heroes decided to ask Helga Jackson about it, and visited her at her cell.

When our heroes entered, Helga asked how her Jo-Jo was doing. She wasn’t surprised to hear that he doesn’t like water. When the conversation moved to meat plants, Helga explained that she knew a lot about this project, as she was the head of it. It was eventually scrapped when marketing studies found that people would have a problem with eating meat that grew on plants. She agreed to walk Doctor Tau through the process of developing these plants, on the condition that she be given a lock of Mukla’s hair.

Our heroes deliberated for some time over whether Helga could be trusted, whether this would help her escape, and whether she’d clone Mukla or something. But eventually they decided this was their best chance at peace between the gorillas and the crocodiles. They ventured back to Mukla to ask for some of his hair. Our heroes wisely explained the full situation to Mukla, instead of using their meager deception skills, and Mukla reluctantly agreed to provide some of his hair.

The Protectors returned to Helga Jackson. Doctor Tau was able to haggle her down to receiving half of the Mukla hair now, and half later. With that, Doctor Tau went to work.

Will Helga Jackson use this plan as an opportunity to escape? Will she make a clone of Mukla? Will the crocodiles actually like the meat plants, or will the allure of fresh gorilla meat be too much for them? And who the hell is Xal’Thuran? Remember to tune in next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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