Protectors of Emerald City

Pride and Posessiveness
Must get book!

As Doctor Tau monitored the radio frequency band in his secret lab, the clouds above Emerald City began to darken. Our heroes were called by the Mayor to investigate the source of the darkening skies. Reports had been made of the dead coming to life and a strange hooded figure in the Emerald City Graveyard with an old-looking necromancy book—

“Book!” exclaimed Witch, rushing off to the graveyard.

The rest of our heroes followed, apart from Tau, who continued to monitor the airwaves. At the graveyard, zombies were indeed everywhere, and in the center was a hooded figure holding a tome with a strange glowing bubble of aura surrounding them. Witch immediately dove in, trying to snatch the volume, but was repelled away by the aura with significant force.

The necromancer threw back her hood and revealed herself to be Yomi Izanami. She vowed to show that the magic of House Izanami is far superior to House Lazura. “What the heck is House Lazura?” K12 thought to himself, before ‘remembering’ that Witch’s real last name is Lazura, and first name isn’t Witch.

A battle ensued. To make a long encounter short, Yomi made a giant lightning storm that hit everyone who was flying with considerable power, and also targeted our heroes directly with lightning bolts. The zombies on the ground swarmed and destroyed the platforms made by Hoenheim. Hoenheim was able to protect the unconscious bodies of K12 and Witch from the zombies by burying them, but in the end couldn’t do much against Yomi and her horde of zombies on his own, apart from hiding.

Hoenheim saw Yomi do something strange to Witch’s body, as though she was pulling something out of her. Then, the aura around Yomi contracted, Yomi disappeared, and the zombies all fell dead.

When Witch regained consciousness, she ran around looking for the book. She ended up over-exerting herself and fell unconscious again. Seeing this, K12 decided to pace himself. Our heroes returned to Doctor Tau’s lab, Hoenheim carrying Witch.

Hoenheim relayed to Tau what took place at the graveyard, and our heroes pondered whether Yomi would be gone for good now, or if they would have to do something about her. When Witch awoke, she answered this question.

“Must get book!”

What’s this book all about, anyways? And why is Yomi attacking our heroes? And why haven’t we heard about Yomi or Witch’s family before? What did Yomi do to Witch, anyways? And will the GM learn from his mistake on combat balance? Find out… well, right now actually.

Doctor Tau called up Shadow and asked her to dig up whatever she could about Yomi Izanami. Shadow said she’d get back to Tau in about a day. With the exhaustion from the combat in the graveyard, our heroes decided to reconvene tomorrow.

Witch went around asking people whether they had heard of Yomi Izanami, and where she might find her. She found out that Yomi had come to Emerald city about a month ago, and was gathering cultists, but isn’t looking any longer. One of her contacts said they would get back to her if they found anything relating to Yomi’s whereabouts.

The next day, K12 went to Wei Lin’s smoothie shop with Hoenheim. As he neared the store, he noticed the windows were shattered, and there was the sound of glass being swept coming from inside. K12 entered the store to see Wei Lin brandishing a broom, ready to defend herself. “Oh, is just you” she said to K12.

“What happened!?” K12 asked Wei Lin. Wei Lin told K12 and Hoenheim about how Witch came by and trashed her store. “She even call me old hag! I tell city that it not good idea to keep a witch around but do they listen to Wei Lin?”

K12 promised to look into the situation, and to have Witch pay for the damage done to the shop. As he left the shop, he called up Witch. Witch said she hadn’t been anywhere near the shop, but reminded K12 that it’s possible for witches and necromancers to change their appearance to look like someone else. Perhaps she was being impersonated by Yomi?

Doctor Tau heard back from Shadow. Apparently Yomi was involved in some kind of tournament in Europia, and was knocked out in the first round by one of Witch’s relatives. This whole stunt might be some kind of revenge.

Our heroes learned of a series of other petty crimes that were supposedly committed by Witch. Charles Lavalle reported that Witch came into Emerald Books and stole the entire Magic and Occult section. According to Francine Placard, Witch was spotted lighting the garbage pile at the city dump on fire, pouring toxic fumes into the surrounding area. The giant statue of an emerald in Emerald City Square was transformed into a giant statue of Witch. And TAISAR is filing a lawsuit against the city for “WITCH IS THE BEST” being engraved into the side of their building in giant letters.

Tau asked Shadow to be on the lookout for the location of someone that looks like Witch. Shadow soon called back with good news and bad news. The good news was that she found “Witch”. The bad news was that “Witch” was heading towards the Emerald City Superprison. Where Helga Jackson is. With three giant elemental creatures made of ice, fire, and lightning.

Our heroes rushed over as fast as they could, intercepting the villains at the bridge leading to the superprison. Witch disguised herself as an Inquisitor. A reasonably lengthy battle ensued, which revealed that the GM had not yet “learn from his mistake on combat balance”. However, our heroes eventually emerged victorious. With the final blow, pseudo-Witch crumbled into a pile of rocks, and the three elemental golems disintegrated.

Wait, a pile of rocks? Wasn’t that supposed to be Yomi? If those were Yomi’s creations, then how powerful must Yomi be?

Will our heroes find Yomi Izanami and steal The Book for Witch? Will we finally return to balanced combat? Will Witch ever seek help for her addiction to ancient literature? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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We have to kill him
Just trust me on this one

K12 was a little flustered at being hugged by this stranger, Xal’Thuran, and called “brother”. Xal asked K12 how it was that he came to be on Earth. “Did the Plibs bring you here?” K12 had no idea what the “Plibs” were, and said so to Xal. A look of fear came over Xal’Thuran’s face. “So then you must be a recon”.

At this point K12 came to a realization.

“Guys, we have to kill him.”

Our other heroes were taken aback by this statement, and asked K12 why they had to kill Xal’Thuran. K12 said “We just have to. Trust me on this one”. Xal’Thuran began to say something, when K12 attacked him. Some of our heroes aided K12 in attacking Xal, while others stood back to see what Xal would say.

Over the course of the first two combat rounds, Xal’Thuran was able to explain that K12 was put on Earth by the Allaurons as an unknowing spy, and was implanted with a monitoring device at the base of his neck. Hoenheim was able to use his alchemical sensing powers to confirm that there was some metal object embedded in K12’s spine at the base of his neck.

It became clearer to our heroes that it might be worth listening to Xal, who had not yet attacked and at this point had turned into a giant rock. At least until they removed whatever was inside K12. After some more combat they were able to subdue him. Then Xal’Thuran removed the device from K12.

Our heroes and Xal returned to Doctor Tau’s lab and waited for K12 to recover. Xal’Thuran was reluctant to say much without K12 conscious.

Once K12 regained consciousness, Xal’Thuran said a number of things that the GM remembers in no particular order.

On Allaura, the home planet of the Allaurons, society is divided into the “plebians” and the “borgians” (the working and ruling classes), referred to colloquially as the Pleebs and the Borgs. Plebians are conscripted for a number of tasks. Xal’Thuran was taken from his work as a “community beautification officer” to become a “recon”.

Xal explained that a recon is an Allauron disguised in some way to infiltrate human society, who is then brainwashed to forget that they are an Allauron. They are also implanted with monitoring equipment so the Borgs can see what they see and subtly (or not-so-subtly) influence their thoughts.

While Xal’Thuran was being prepared for recon, he was freed by a Plebian Liberation vessel headed by “Auntie Bee”. The Plebian Liberation Front, or “Plibs”, are a group that seek to liberate the Pleebs from the Borgs.

As Xal’Thuran was now essentially a deserter, the Plibs brought him down to Earth to live the rest of his life. Knowing now a bit about Earth, and empathizing with its animals who are repressed by Humans, Xal decided to find fitting creatures to bestow powers upon. This all happened a few months before K12 was found by Doctor Tau.

So why are the Allaurons interested in Earth and Humans at all? Allaurons are heavily dependent on Adamantite, and the supply on their planet is slowly running out. It is set to deplete within the next few centuries. Thus, they have begun searching for Adamantite throughout the universe.

Why remain secret from humans? The Allaurons are very intrigued by humans and the way that Adamantite is interacting with them. It is reminiscent of the early days of the development of the Allauron species. They don’t want to interfere with the natural course of human history, unless they must.

What do you mean, Adamantite interacting with humans? Is it sentient or something? Yes. Yes it is sentient. Adamantite is a hub for Adamantons, subatomic particles which the Adamantite consciousness is made of. All the effects of Adamantite are manifested through the actions of Adamantons. Allaurons gained their powers essentially by enslaving Adamantons.

When shown the Adamantite that came from the goo monster in A Sticky Situation, Xal’Thuran was intrigued. He explained that the Adamantite is angry. At what, Xal was not sure. Oh, and the multiple crystals that Tau left in his drawer somehow joined into one crystal while they were left there. Spooky.

When asked how he knew K12 was an Allauron, Xal’Thuran responded that he has a special ability to identify other Allaurons. It is rare among the Allaurons to be able to do this.

Xal’Thuran was asked whether he’s seen Hoenheim’s father, and shown a photo. Xal had never seen the man, but explained that the borgians sometimes kidnapped humans who are experts on Adamantite to assist them with their excavation and research projects.

Xal suggested that the Plibs may be able to help K12 regain some of his Allauron powers and memories. He wasn’t sure how to find the Plibs, but revealed that they operate space ships that communicate using radio frequencies with a certain kind of encryption, that makes it hard to find unless you know what you’re looking for. Now our heroes know what they’re looking for. The Plibs also may know something about the whereabouts of Hoenheim’s father.

Our heroes decide they should track down the Plibs in search of more information. Xal cannot return to the crocs, as he is sure the Borgs will be looking for him there. He instead will venture out to the East in search for species which are worthy of having powers bestowed upon them.

What is in store for our heroes next? Will they find the Plibs? Will they know where Hoenheim’s father is? Will K12 regain his memories? What horrors might Xal’Thuran unwittingly unleash on Emerald City? Will there be some huge war like in Lord of the Rings, but with the humans and all of Xal’Thuran’s followers against the Allaurons? Or will we have a filler episode involving zombies? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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A Sticky Situation
What did he ever do to Goo?

Hoenheim and K12 kept Doctor Tau company as he followed Helga’s instructions to create the meat plants, while Witch tended to her shop. At some point, K12 turned around and realized that there was nobody in Helga’s cell. “Where’d she go!?!?” he asked Tau and Hoenheim frantically. Hoenheim let this go on for a little while before revealing that Helga was still in her cell, and had just gone invisible. “You’re no fun…” she complained, decloaking herself.

Doctor Tau had gotten the meat plants ready to be left to grow, when he received a call from the mayor. Jean insisted that the Protectors needed to hurry to his office as quickly as possible, as there was something important he needed to brief them on. Tau was very skeptical, so K12 stayed behind to keep a somewhat-watchful eye on Helga.

When they reached the mayor’s office, Placard breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness you’re here,” he began. “This fly has been driving me crazy! You have to kill it”. The frustrated Tau quickly dispatched the fly with a minute plasma portal. “There, happy?”

“Yes,” replied Placard. “Now to the actual important business. There appears to be a giant monster attacking the downtown waste management center. You must save them”. Our heroes were surprised that there was actually something maybe important to do. Tau opened a portal directly to Francine’s office, and a grey goo began seeping in through the portal. The panicked Tau quickly closed the portal, and opened a new one to send the goo back where it came from. “Well… I guess he’s not kidding.”

Our heroes approached the waste management center (along with Witch and K12) as Francine was fleeing the scene. They first peered into the chemical treatment room from the skylight. The large pool-like vat in the center of the room was empty. Descending into the room, they followed a trail of goo and destruction into the office hall, and to the garbage truck bay, where they saw a large blob devouring some trucks.

Hoenheim approached the blob. In a Michaelangelo-esque scene, the blob extended a thin filament, reaching out to Hoenheim, who reached out and touched it. At Hoenheim’s touch, a green spot appeared, which grew to cover the entire filament, and then the entire blob. The blob now had Hoenheim’s powers.

When K12 approached the blob, the response was a little different. The blob attacked K12. In response, Hoenheim encased K12 in a protective bubble of concrete. The blob began to leave, dissolving its way through the wall.

Removing the concrete bubble from K12, our heroes decided they would have to destroy the blob. A fairly lengthy battle ensued, where successful attacks caused the blob to divide into smaller, weaker pieces, with new pieces gaining invulnerability and powers based on the attack that caused the division. At one point Hoenheim plopped himself into a blob, which appeared not to mind. Also, every single blob exclusively attacked K12. He’s still wondering what he ever did to the blob to deserve this.

Once the blobs were all destroyed, Tau found small green crystals that appeared to be Adamantite in the pools left by the blobs. Tau was confused, however, because there had only ever been records of living things being affected by Adamantite, and the pool of garbage was likely non-living. Tau returned the crystals to a drawer in his lab, to be investigated later.

This distraction finished, our heroes returned to Helga’s cell-room to retrieve the meat plants, which had somehow sufficiently grown in the few hours that passed. Tau gave Helga the remainder of her “payment”, and our heroes were off to the Califarian Wetlands.

The Protectors presented the meat plants to Spike, who sampled one of their meat sacks. He was quite pleased with the flavor, and urged our heroes to plant them. Our heroes complied, but made Spike agree that no more attacks were to happen on the gorillas. Spike explained that with such a tasty source of meat that didn’t need to be hunted, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Once Tau explained to Spike and some of the other crocodiles how to cultivate the meat plants, word came to Spike that Xal’Thuran would soon arrive. Spike was excited, and had our heroes stand in a line to welcome Xal (though Witch stayed off in a corner, cloaked). Soon a large humanoid crocodile approached the group. It locked eyes with K12, and approached him, morphing into a tall human form as he did so. “It’s so nice to see you, brother!” Xal’Thuran proclaimed, embracing our confused hero.

So is Xal’Thuran an Allauron? And what’s up with his shape-shifting, is that an Allauron power? Why can’t K12 shape-shift? And while we’re asking about K12, why did that goo hate him so much? And what’s up with Adamantite making a goo monster out of a pile of chemically-treated garbage? Will Xal’Thuran be able to tell our heroes anything useful? Will the number of questions at the end of these synopses continue to grow? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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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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Loving the Heat
Baby don't burn me

In the confusion of the tunnel flood in our last episode, the Croc was able to get away. K12 and Hoenheim went off down the sewers in the direction they thought the Croc might have went, and found an opening broken in the sewer bars leading to the ocean. The amphibious Croc had escaped.

Our heroes returned to Alexis and informed her of the dangers that dwelled in the sewers. They presented her with the evidence that had been gathered (sewer worker’s torn clothes, and Witch’s postcognitive visions). Outside town hall was Fred, running around in circles, waving his arms, and screeching. It seemed that nothing could be done to communicate with him, but Witch ran around in circles behind him, also waving her arms and screeching, before everyone headed into the City Hall. Our heroes warned Alexis that as they’d naught been able to dissolve the threat, safety measures ought to be taken by the Sanitation Department and co. Thus ended the tale of the killer Croc… for now.

With the Croc gone, our heroes decided to follow the lead they had been given about the disappearance of a miner at Blackrock Mountain. They decided to go by vehicle, taking the Mystery Machine. Along the way Hoenheim put on the song “What is Love”, but he never turned it off and kept it on loop. The rest of the group was forced to listen to it the entire way (but admittedly, they seemed to enjoy it).

Up at the Blackrock Mining Facility, Hoenheim and Dr Tau stayed in the van listening to “What is Love” while K12 and Witch went in to speak to Foreman Fred about the problem. However they had been lied to, Foreman Fred was no Foreman at all, he was in fact the Director of Operations at the Blackrock Facility. He had once been a Foreman and so the name had stuck. Foreman Fred explained (sniffling all the way) that Miner Mike had gone missing while looking for new mineral deposits. It turned out Miner Mike as not a miner at all, but a spelunker.

The group, along with Foreman Fred, went over to gather any information they could at Miner Mike’s quarters. Hoenheim took some of Mike’s clothes to track his scent. One of our heroes found a rock sample that Foreman Fred was able to use to narrow down where Miner Mike could have gone.

The group went into the mining tunnels all the way to the point where Foreman Fred said Miner Mike had probably gone. Hoenheim was able to pick up the scent and the four descended deeper into the tunnels far past where any mining activity had taken place.

They eventually came upon a steeply descending tunnel, steep enough that it required cautious climbing in order to navigate. At the bottom of this tunnel they felt a sharp increase in temperature as if they were nearing the actively molten part of the active volcano. K12 was able to manipulate the temperature around them to keep it cool enough and avoid any damage.

As they followed the spelunker’s trail they eventually came to a large cavern with a pool of lava at its center. Miner Mike’s trail led towards the pool before abruptly ending in the cavern. Our heroes looked around for anything that might explain Miner Mike’s disappearance, noticing a strange group of rocks at the center of the lava pool. From the distance, Doctor Tau thought this might be the rock that they found in Miner Mike’s quarters!

Doctor Tau opened a portal to the rock, and quickly realized that this was no rock at all, but scales! Unexpectedly, the long neck of a dragon-like beast emerged from the scalding lava, screeching in dismay at our heroes. It apparently did not like the cold touch of K12’s powers through Tau’s portal, which was quickly closed. Witch was able to use her animal empathy to apologize to the beast, which did not immediately eat them. In this time, they were able to escape the mountain through Tau’s portals.

Having presumably discovered what had killed Mike, they went back and informed Foreman Fred who seemed intent on destroying the creature using cold. Apparently Foreman Fred couldn’t understand that the Dragon hated cold in a “I’m angry and will kill you” kind of way and not a “oh no I’m melting! bleh! dead” kind of way. K12 was able to intimidate Foreman Fred away from doing this incredibly stupid thing. For now.

After their business was wrapped up the group returned to their vehicle only to discover that numerous miners and moose were hovering around listening to “What is Love” as Hoenheim had left the car open and turned on before he left. Shooing the crowd away, the Protectors reacquired their vehicle and drove back to Town Hall where they informed Alexis of the situation at Blackrock. This time they listened to a different song along the road.

What will happen next? Will Foreman Fred do something stupid, despite K12’s intimidation? Where did the Croc go anyways? Did we ever even talk to Mukla about how his powers didn’t work on K12? Where are all these super powered animals coming from? Is there Adamantite in Blackrock Mountain? Find out the answers to these questions, or maybe some different ones, next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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Something in the Sewers

Our heroes were asked to investigate the recent disappearance of an on-duty sewer worker. While exploring the route the worker was thought to have taken, they found scratch marks which Hoenheim and Doctor Tau concluded were likely from a large humanoid crocodile that had been sighted in the sewers in the past.

Our heroes called in Randy, who backed up this story, explaining that crocodiles had been occupying the flooded sewer areas underneath The Docks over the past month, led by The Croc.

Our heroes went to explore this flooded area, with Hoenheim taking the lead as bait. Eventually he ran into two crocodiles, quickly crushing one as the other fled. The rest of our heroes caught up, soon to be ambushed by The Croc with two more crocodile followers. The walkway was destroyed, sending our heroes into the water below.

However, K12 quickly neutralized the Croc’s followers by freezing the sewer water. Realizing he was outmatched, The Croc began to flee, digging through the sewer floor and off to one side. Our heroes followed him, able to keep pace, when The Croc broke through into another sewer channel, flooding the tunnel! What a setback!

What will happen to our heroes now? Will they be able to catch up to the Croc? Why is the Croc here? And what’s up with him? Is he human, or a crocodile? To answer these questions and more, stay tuned to Protectors of Emerald City!

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A Spark in the Shadow

In return for Shadow’s help in Taking out the Trash, our heroes agreed to help Shadow in capturing Electro, a mysterious being who exists within electrical impulses. Shadow explained to our heroes how Electro was responsible for a string of deaths related to Truebuilt Construction.

There was the issue that Shadow wanted Electro captured alive. Shadow predicted Electro would take control of a new robot called CASA, which would be unveiled by Truebuilt Construction, and use it to wreak havoc. This robot would be disconnected from the electrical grid, allowing our heroes to incapacitate it and take its core back to Shadow. The wrong move could be disastrous, however, since the torso of the robot contained a nuclear fission reactor to power it.

Our heroes called Truebuilt Construction to try to gain intel on CASA’s specs. Through a series of passed persuasion checks, our heroes were put in touch with a fairly ridiculous engineer who told them about all the crazy deadly contraptions equipped on CASA, including homing missiles, drills, jet propulsion, and a gigantic nail gun.

The day of the unveiling, our heroes gathered around the construction site where CASA was displayed. Unfortunately, Hoenheim got distracted by the video game console he recently borrowed from Doctor Tau, and so was not present.

There was a long and arduous battle. Doctor Tau kept on attention procuring portals to prevent the propulsion projectiles of CASA from pulverizing our super-powered Protectors. Witch used her necrotic powers to slowly rust and destroy CASA’s casing. K12 narrowly avoided many long nails that were projected at him and landed many a hit on CASA, but I don’t remember them doing much.

It seemed the battle was going nowhere – CASA’s defenses were formidable, as was Doctor Tau’s ability to prevent CASA’s projectiles from damaging his comrades. Around then, Hoenheim apparently remembered he had something important to do, and lept in from the sky, landing in a gigantic crater. Shortly after, our heroes took down the giant robot (Witch was still doing most of the heavy lifting), with the final blow dealt by K12 (I guess his hits did do something).

With CASA defeated, it was time to confront Electro, the one in control of the robot. Electro led our heroes to believe that it was created by Shadow, and enslaved to do her bidding, but Electro’s story didn’t add up. They soon found Electro was just stalling for time as it broke through the nuclear fission systems, and set the core to meltdown. However, Doctor Tau was able to combine his nuclear know-how with K12’s cooling capabilities to prevent the meltdown from taking place. With Electro fully neutralized, our heroes brought the CASA casing to Shadow.

With the stories Electro had been telling, Shadow had some explaining to do. She explained that Electro was her brother, who was seeking vengeance for the death of their father. He had gone behind her back to turn himself into the form he is now using untested technology she had created. She wanted to capture Electro alive so she can return her brother to his original form – his body slipped into a coma when his consciousness left it.

Witch, Hoenheim and K12 went home while Doctor Tau stuck around to assist Shadow with some electrical work that would be necessary to neutralize the fission reactor inside CASA. As they worked, Shadow made her admiration for Tau known (nudge nudge, wink wink), and so a relationship began.

What’s in store for our heroes now? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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That looks familiar
Pics or it didn't happen

In this flash-back episode, our heroes explored the TAISAR weather station they found out about from Helga Jackson in Sixty Feet Under.

The outpost was north of Emerald City, about an hour’s flight away from where Doctor Tau found K12 in We Allauroned Alot Today. Our heroes took the car as far as they could so as not to attract attention, then ventured by flight and platform-jumping to the outpost. As far as they could tell, it was just a normal weather station, equipped with meteorological instrumentation and radar. Doctor Tau noted, however, that the radar was equipped with targeting technology that could be used to monitor and identify aircraft. Fishy.

On the way back to Emerald City, Hoenheim noticed a rolled cigarette butt next to a smoldering fire which caught his eye. It was rolled in the same way as his father used to do. On closer inspection, the fire was also stacked in the way his father used to, and there were footprints around the campsite that matched his father’s foot size, more or less. Hoenheim showed the rest of our heroes a photo of his father smoking one of his rolled cigarettes for comparison. Upon seeing this photo, K12 realized that he had seen this man before, on an Allauron ship! Gasp! This man is really becoming important enough that we should have a name for him.

Witch tried to use her postcognition to determine whether Hoenheim’s father was here, but to no avail. Our heroes tracked the footprints to an open meadow, where they vanished. Nearby, Doctor Tau found three circular imprints where grass and small plants had been crushed – likely by a spaceship! What was going on between Hoenheim’s dad and the Allaurons? We took a few moments to reflect on Hoenheim’s history, which is unfortunately still not in the wiki.

This prompted our heroes to reinvestigate the area where K12 was found by Doctor Tau, an hour’s flight away. Inside the tunnel, our heroes found the location where Doctor Tau remembered finding the door, but it was no longer there – portals into the wall found only rock. On further reflection, Tau noticed that the tunnel had changed in subtle ways. After circling the tunnel to see if they had the wrong location, Witch used her postcognition and confirmed that the area had indeed been altered by some sort of power. Fishier and fishier.

Why was Hoenheim’s dad seen by K12 with the Allaurons? And why was he back near Emerald City? What happened to the location where K12 was found? Is Hoenheim’s dad an Allauron? What is an Allauron anyways? Find out in a future epsiode of Protectors of Emerald City!

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Taking out the Trash
Are two Placards really better than one?

Disclaimer: Some things might have happened in different orders. This was written two weeks after the session.

Our heroes continued to discuss possibilities for investigating police collusion with the Lorenzos and figuring out who took the coke from the Butcher’s. Alexis followed up on the suspicions of our heroes that someone from waste management might be involved, and called up its director, Francine Placard, to ask about the employee schedule. Francine wasn’t sure about who worked where when, but invited our heroes to come down to the Downtown waste management offices and figure it out themselves.

Our heroes entered the plain, dreary waste management building, and found Francine’s door with a gold-plated nameplate. They ventured into her office and found it was quite lavish in comparison to the rest of the office building, with mahogany walls and intricate paperweights. Francine explained that the employee work records are kept in an office “down the hall”, and told our heroes they should be able to find it. When asked, she offered our heroes guest badges from an envelope by her door, of which there was only one. Apparently she had forgotten to refill the envelope that morning.

At some point our heroes noticed that the garbage collector uniform is the same shade of blue as the police uniforms (though the GM neglected to inform them of this until later).

When our heroes found the records office, it was locked, and Doctor Tau had to go back to get the key from Francine. Once inside the office, Witch tackled the paper records while Doctor Tau handled the electronic system. Doctor Tau identified about seven names that could have handled the route to La Flamenco Vive on days with salt deliveries, and Witch found each of their personnel files, with their home addresses.

At this point, Shadow got in touch with our heroes. It turns out that the Lorenzos had been transferring money to only two police officers, Sam Adams and Maxwell Wiggins, who are partners in the force. Shadow and our heroes suspected that these two officers were informing the Lorenzos about police activity, which meant that it would be hard to find them acting suspiciously.

Shadow also found money being transferred to a man named Weston Dogoode. Witch and Doctor Tau realized that Weston was one of the names on the list of garbage collectors! When informed of this, Shadow offered to track Weston down using the GPS on his garbage truck, and our heroes were informed of his location. “Let’s go take out the trash!” K12 proclaimed. Witch sighed.

While Witch stayed in the car, the rest of our heroes stalked the garbage truck from rooftops while it went down a downtown back alley (you know, that space in behind buildings, not a normal road). As it made one of its stops, our heroes accosted the garbage truck. After binding Weston to the ground, Hoenheim brought up walls to prevent escape and onlookers, and similarly bound the driver of the truck. Hoenheim then intimidated Weston into submission, Terminator-style, while K12 handled the driver. Hoenheim learned that Weston had recovered the coke from the butcher’s, and stored it in his locker at the waste management center in the Docks. He convinced Weston to testify against the Lorenzos, provided they would protect him. And so Weston was brought back to Doctor Tau’s installation for holding.

Our heroes decided to tuck their knowledge about Sam Adams and Maxwell Wiggins in their back pocket and go in search of their next adventure. With the Lorenzos under wraps, they would be underground anyways. For details about their flashback adventure, read That looks familiar, and remember to join us next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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Hot Headed
Someone needs to cool off

Though Mr. Nice wanted to go directly to the police station to turn himself in, our heroes insisted he come with them to see Alexis, so that he could tell her his side of the story.

In a fairly drawn out scene in Alexis’ office, our heroes argued with Chad Marston, the Police Chief about jurisdiction. Chad expressed offense that the heroes had been meddling with normal crime (the allegations that the Lorenzos were trafficking drugs), while not bringing a super-powered murderer to justice (or even confining him). He asked our heroes to leave the rest of the investigation into the Lorenzos up to the police. Hoenheim argued back that they needed to investigate the Lorenzos in order to investigate Mr. Nice, but Alexis closed the case (at least, as far as the Chad Marston knew), by agreeing that the Protectors would leave the Lorenzo investigation alone.

As Chad made his way out of the building, he passed by Mr. Nice and K12 in the hallway. Mr. Nice asked the police chief whether he was arresting the Lorenzos, and Chad gave a noncommittal answer about getting a warrant and starting an investigation. This angered Mr. Nice, who proclaimed this was not what he signed up for, and stormed out of the building. What a hot-head.

Our heroes discussed where Mr. Nice might have went and what they should do next (Hoenheim voted for letting the police deal with it). As they were talking, Chad received a phone call. Mr. Nice was attacking the police station! “Guess that’s your problem”, Hoenheim declared, developing what will likely be a campaign-long feud between himself and Chad. The rest of the team felt differently, however, and rushed off to save the police force. Hoenheim followed, taunting Chad with a moonwalk as he did so.

When they arrived at the police station, our heroes found everything was quiet. The door to the station as ajar, and the blizzard was bringing snow and ice into the building. Just as our heroes were about to venture up the steps and inside the building, Mr. Nice emerged. “It’s you!” he exclaimed, blaming our heroes for turning against him. “You will pay!” he declared, before attacking the group and initiating the first round of combat in three sessions.

Mr. Nice slowed down our heroes a couple of times, but failed to cause any important effects to take hold. Our heroes easily hit Mr. Nice, but their effects seemed to do almost nothing. Even trapping him in a sphere had no effect, as Mr. Nice moved his center of ice-control outside of the sphere. This was until Hoenheim began using his transmutation to weaken the very essence of Mr. Nice’s Fortitude, reducing his ability to resist their attacks.

Having taken considerable damage, Mr. Nice solidified and dropped to the ground, absorbing water and ice from the air around him to heal. Dr. Tau and Hoenheim saw this as an opportunity to set up a combo attack. Hoenheim created nasty balls of spiky earth, which Dr. Tau heated up with a portal to his plasma source, and flung at the now-solid Mr. Nice. Only one of their two balls hit, but it hit with such force that it destroyed Mr. Nice, who broke into a few solid chunks and began melting next to the heat of Hoenheim’s giant balls.

Our heroes went inside to thaw the police they predicted they would find. The officers were thankful for being saved. Doctor Tau asked one of the officers whether they knew of any money being transferred between the Lorenzos and the police force. The officer told Tau that she had heard of police making shady deals on the side in general, but she hadn’t heard of anything with the Lorenzos, and certainly not on a large scale. It appeared to Doctor Tau that the officer was telling the truth.

Our heroes returned to Alexis to report on what had taken place. She cautioned that if the Protectors were to delve further in investigating police corruption, they should do so discretely, without attracting attention from the police.

The Protectors gathered for a slumber party at Doctor Tau’s installation. As the rest of our heroes slept, Hoenheim looked over the security footage that had been recovered from La Flamenco Vive. When everyone woke up, they reviewed the parts Hoenheim had deemed suspicious or noteworthy. The footage did not cover the front of the building, and the only vehicle that appeared on a regular basis was the morning garbage truck. Perhaps that would be worth checking out? The cameras in the building occasionally showed salt being brought in. There were also some periods where footage was missing.

The Protectors went to R to ask Shadow whether they could find a money trail between the police and the Lorenzos. Shadow proposed that they would help, provided the Protectors help Shadow capture something for them later, alive. Shadow explained it was something “not good” that lived within electrical wires and the net, and that physical intervention would be needed to capture it. Shadow stressed that they should make every effort not to destroy the thing. Our heroes agreed (though Witch remained reluctant), and went off to explore other routes of investigation into the police.

What will our heroes find? Are the police involved in an elaborate cover-up? Are those trucks hauling more than just garbage? Will the municipal waste management offices be more helpful to our heroes than Jean Placard? Is owing Shadow a favor really a good idea? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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