Protectors of Emerald City

Infiltrating the Bakron
Alright let's do this. Leeroyyy!...

In this episode, our heroes helped the Plebians rescue Recon 542 from the S.S. Bakron. Doctor Tau and Witch snuck up to the ship using a small one-man vessel. Witch boarded it, and found Recon 542, the switch room, and the mainframe while avoiding some serpent-like security guards. They came up with a plan to have Witch disable the Bakron’s power while Doctor Tau teleported 542 onto the one-man ship and Witch back to the Plib ship.

Notably, when Witch found a large port labeled “don’t stick viruses here” in the mainframe room, she chose not to stick viruses there (as she didn’t have any with her). She did however unplug a bunch of ethernet-looking cables.

Some of you might have thought you remembered Doctor Tau teleporting people from outer space back to Earth, but this didn’t really happen. Doctor Tau’s teleport lock on his home base is still limited by the range of his portal device.

What’s in store for our heroes next? Will Jobe finally join up with the team on a mission? Will Sy be able to unlock K12’s powers? Will we find out what the Allaurons’ plans are for Earth or where Hoenheim’s father is? Will next week’s synopsis be as short, summarized, and lacking hyperlinks as this one? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City.

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Do we really trust a crow
Also: Wow, she's actually a bee.

Having emerged victorious, our heroes looted Yomi Izanami’s hideout. Witch began frantically scouring the rooms for signs of “Book”, while the rest of our heroes more calmly explored the lair.

Doctor Tau came upon a room with many crystals, gems, and inscriptions laid about. He was particularly intrigued with a circular table in the center of the room. It had seven gemstones equally spaced around the edges of the table, with an alchemy circle intricately inscribed in the table. In the center of the table there was a piece of Adamantite.

Tau was suspicious, and carefully inspected the stones to ensure that he indeed thought they were plain gemstones and that the crystal in the center was indeed Adamantite. He then photographed the scene and gathered the gemstones and crystal up to take back to his lab. K12 and/or Hoenheim might also have come into the room to look at the setup, but the GM can’t remember.

Meanwhile, Witch came upon a small library. Along the edges of the room were sets of bookshelves, but Witch’s eyes were immediately drawn to the pedestal in the center of the room, which held a black book emanating a dark aura. This was Yomi’s Book that Witch sought.

Despite her enthusiasm, Witch was wary of this book, which was bound shut with black leather straps. She tried to open Book with her telekinetic powers, but the book refused to open. She sought out a fire poker to open Book with, but that also failed. Eventually she decided to open Book with her hands.

On touching Book, the dark aura that surrounded it was sucked into Witch through her hands, and the black lace that held Book shut dematerialized. WItch eagerly opened Book, only to see that the inside was blank. She spent some time looking at the book, using her arcane knowledge to sense what was going on. Doing this, she realized that Book thirsted for her blood. So she cut herself and gave it some. On doing this, the blood soaked into the pages of Book, and red lettering appeared.

Witch was excited by this, but explored the rest of the room rather than reading all of Book right now. She found many books that covered topics she was already familiar with, but also several on lightning magic and necromancy that were unknown to her. She looted a number of tomes to bring back to her shop for reading.

And so our heroes returned home. Witch went to her shop and began reading, while the rest of our heroes went to Doctor Tau’s lab. Oh, and they also brought back Yomi to be kept in a holding cell, while a more suitable cell gets constructed in the Emerald City Superprison.

At his lab, Doctor Tau did some further investigation of the crystal and gemstones he gathered at Yomi’s hideout. He discovered that these were indeed regular gemstones, and adamantite. He put the adamantite away in the drawer with his other crystals.

Then Doctor Tau spent a few hours walking aimlessly around his lab. He knew there was something he was forgetting to do, but entirely forgot what it was. And so he twiddled his thumbs. Eventually Hoenheim came up to Tau and asked him how the radar monitoring was going, and whether he had spotted any Plibs. “Right. That.” replied Tau, returning to the monitoring equipment.

On returning to the monitor, Tau discovered that here was in fact a Plib radio signal moving around Emerald City. It wasn’t moving along road or sewer lines, implying it was likely flying overhead. Hoenheim and K12 went out to investigate the source.

With Tau navigating from the lab, they eventually reached a rooftop very close to the radio source. “Skree! Thank goodness I found you, skree skree” went a voice overhead. A crow came down and landed on Hoenheim’s shoulder.

“Xal’Thuran was able to set up a meeting with the Plibs skree” said the crow. “Who are you and why on earth should we trust you? How do we know Xal’Thuran sent you?” asked K12. “Skree… he told me to tell you ‘hello brother’”. “I’m not convinced,” replied K12. However, K12 and Hoenheim agreed that they should probably follow along with the crow anyways, wary for a trap.

The crow explained that they were to go to a certain field east of Emerald City in a day. A tracker on the crow would allow the Plibs to locate our heroes and beam them onto their ship in orbit around Earth.

[GM’s note: 15 minutes to session so the synopsis will have to speed up a bit]

The crow also took a liking to Hoenheim.

The next day our heroes and the crow went to the aforementioned field and waited to be beamed up. With a flash of light, they soon found themselves inside the spaceship in a room made of a steel-like metal. A man with black hair, thick prescription goggles, and a lab coat opened the door to the room. “Great, it worked! We weren’t quite sure if the beamer worked on this thing”. The goggle-clad individual introduced himself as Sy. “You should come meet the rest of the crew!”

Our group was introduced to the rest of the crew. Auntie Bee was in fact a bee, and spoke to our heroes with telepathy. Chio (short for Xi’Orath) was a tabby cat and also communicated telepathically. Olga “the Butcher” and Dimitri “the Hunter” were two recons placed in the Russian government who were rescued by the Plibs.

Sy showed our heroes this cool fluid he invented that, when sprayed on glass, makes it so it doesn’t get dirty! Tau was very excited about this, and the two agreed to have Tau distribute it on Earth in some way.

There was some amount of discussion about the situation of the Plibs and Allaurons in general, but the GM is fuzzy on the details. Auntie Bee did explain that the Plibs in general want to free the Plebians from the rule of the Borgs, but that their vessel’s job is currently to rescue individual Plebs from the Borgs. Oh, and there exist 1342 sentient species in the universe that the Allaurons are aware of.

The Plibs told our heroes they could help look for Hoenheim’s father, and Sy was quite excited to try to unlock K12’s powers and memories, but the Plibs told our heroes that they have a pressing mission on hand to rescue a recon. They would like our heroes’ help. Our heroes agreed to assist the Plibs on this mission.

What will Witch learn from Book when she returns? How will our heroes rescue the recon? Will Sy’s eternal window cleaner achieve international acclaim? Find out in a future episode of Protectors of Emerald City!

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A Bone to Pick
"Yep, it's definitely a rock."

Doctor Tau gathered a sample of rock from the crumbled pseudo-Witch, and brought it back to his lab to analyze. Meanwhile Witch went back to her shop, while Hoenheim and K12 did Hoenheim and K12 stuff. And of course, Hoenheim didn’t do it alone, whatever it was.

When she returned to her shop, Witch found it had been trashed, presumably by Yomi but potentially by disgruntled citizens of Emerald City. She began cleaning it up, and this took the remainder of the day. At the end of the day, Witch received a call from her cultist friend, who has a friend of a friend whose husband took off north of the city to join Yomi‘s cult. The friend wasn’t sure where.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Doctor Tau was making slow progress. For the first few hours, all he could determine was that this was, indeed, a sample of rock. He called over Hoenheim to help, and together they made a breakthrough discovery, determining it came from Withering Peak, a mountain north of Emerald City.

And so, having corroborated the information gained by Witch and Tau, our heroes set off to Withering Peak.

At Withering Peak, Hoenheim picked up the trail of a cultist and scouted ahead. Once he determined the cultist hideout was just nearby, Witch took over, using her powers of concealment. She entered the clearing where the hideout was located, and saw a ring of cultists around a fire below a balcony where Yomi watched over them. The hideout itself was made of bones, and was built into the side of the mountain. Seeing this, Witch returned to the rest of the group.

Our heroes decided on a plan of attack. They would approach the hideout from further up on the mountain, and tunnel into the hideout from behind. They took some time to stealthily circle the mountain, and began tunneling in. Eventually they came to the ceiling of a room with three cultists below.

Breaking through the rock ceiling, our heroes got the jump on the cultists, and swiftly took them out. But lo and behold, another cultist soon came into the room to see what was causing all this noise. Spotting the Protectors, the cultist turned and ran, shouting for help. Doctor Tau was swift to place a portal bringing this cultist back into the room, and the cultist was unable to escape. But the alarm had been sounded; Soon more cultists came piling into the room, and Yomi discovered the intruders.

However, with their fortified position and superior ability, our heroes quickly dispatched of all the cultists who entered the room. Yomi too was taken down, while the GM was in too much of a feverish haze to remember the details. And so our heroes emerged victorious, and began to loot the hideout.

Will Witch finally “find book”? What other texts and tomes might she find? Will we finally get back to the Allauron plotline? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City!

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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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