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The Emerald Cities


Ari

Emerald City, Washington

 

Gem of the Columbia

 

A child of the natural wealth of the Columbia River delta, Emerald City, WA started life in what is now the district of Islandview, nestled in the rich farmland at the foothills of the Atlas Coastal Range. Over time, as its sister city to the south grew, so did the northern town, until it now stands as a smaller but still prominent city occupying the northern delta. Comparatively new, it has a more common Euro-American style and less glamorous image abroad, which has started to change after it became the center of an Archetech branch. It has a remarkably large military presence, given its size and location.

 

Emerald City, Oregon

 

The Facet City

 

Originally a fort and trading post on the bank of the Columbia River built by members of the famous Stanley-Malory charting expedition 1809, Emerald City, OR is now a thriving port town and technological development center. Always friendly and welcoming to new things, the city is dramatically different from most others in the United States, with architectural, social and cultural influences from hundreds of countries across the globe and high technology made commonplace. Despite this, and its population that rivals Portland, the city suffers from a strong colonial cringe in regards to its lumberjacking, fishing and mining past, begrudging it and the kitsch culture surrounding its nominal ties to The Wizard of Oz.

 

Districts, North:

 

Hookville: The location of Fort Brewer Naval Base, and the housing and support center for Navy and Coast Guard personnel, families and civilian contractors.

 

Cascadia: The location of Joint Army/Air-Force Base Clark-Gordon and their support and housing for military families, military & civilian personnel, and retirees.

 

Bridgepoint: The center of Emerald City North, a collage of industry, businesses and housing next to the city's major civilian port. Location of Archetech West.

 

Northern Shore: A wealthy suburban development under the shadow of looming Mt. Forge. Home of 'Mini Mumbai', a large Hindi and Punjabi community.

 

Island View: The historic birthplace of Emerald City, rich in farms and ranches, and where most of the local mining interests and workers are.

 

Districts, South:

 

Oceanside: The Outer Peninsula of the Arcadian Peninsulas, separated by the Bronze River, location of the major airport and aerospace facilities. Houses the low-risk prison Arcadia.

 

West Vallee: The Inner Peninsula of the Arcadian Peninsulas, separated by the Red River, a working-class district with a heavy focus on manufacturing. Abutts the middle-class suburbs of Arcadian Peaks.

 

Lakeside: An enclave of the rich, eccentric and reclusive around the shores of the artificial Lake Vallee(pronunciation contested). Many of the city's new tech barons live here.

 

Eastern District: The dense center of Emerald City's East Asian population, with the majority being colorful Jadetown's Chinese and austere Little Osaka's Japanese.

 

Sunset Hill: The lofty seat of Emerald City's old money, home to a large gated community of out-of-town eccentrics. Location of beautiful Overlook Park.

 

Royal Hill: The thriving upper-scale business and housing outside downtown. Location of the famous art-deco Crown Tower Hotel.

 

Riverfront: Emerald City's downtown and birthplace, home of its major businesses, city government, numerous art and culture centers, and the famous Yellow Brick Row shopping blocks.

 

University Hill: Formerly Gallows Hill, the town's execution site, now a sprawling campus for well-regarded Emerald City University. Location of the persistently-innovative Parker Sciences Building.

 

Southern Shore: A sprawling suburb that reaches from downtown to the vast Elysian Forest, site of the mini-Silicon Valley of MarsTech Campus, tech development center.

 

Bethlehem Heights: Another working-class community that used to be the center of Emerald City's lumber and mining workforce. Site of Bethlehem Heights Psychiatric Hospital.

 

The Islands

 

Stepstone Islands: Carry the bridges between Islandview, EC-WA, and Bethlehem Heights, EC-OR

Fortress Island: Home of the dour Fortress Island State Penitentiary, the high-security prison.

Council Island: Location of an upscale community in the shadow of the Astoria-Megler Bay Bridge, also home of Devlin, a massive rusted-copper green derelict Devestoid from the Devestoid Disaster of 2005.

Malory Island: Home of the city's lighthouse.

 

What Needs Doing

 
Thanks to their distance from the major super-human capital of Freedom City the Emerald Cities enjoy a relatively super-crime-free existence. ECS's enormous wealth and access to supertechnology hasn't attracted any superhuman thieves or the likes of even hyper-competitive Dr. Otaku. Its branch of A.S.T.R.O. Labs has this far failed to produce any accidental monsters, madmen or misfits and if any mutations have occurred from the Columbia River's tainting by upriver nuclear plants it has been well-hidden. Even their famous viridian gemstones appear to lack the supernatural qualities attributed to them by superstitious 19th century miners. ECN's military installations and experimental hardware have thus far failed to catch the attention of any would-be worldbeaters.
 
The only supercriminals likely to be encountered are foreigners, most likely hired by the major cartels and mob branches known or suspected to operate in the Emeralds. Despite that, the "mundane" criminal element is still a serious threat to the lives and livelihoods of those in their territory, and some parts of the inner Eastern District are nearly impenetrable without an understanding of the power structure of the local Triad or Yakuza. 
 
Besides human evil, the Pacific Northwest is quite geologically active and presents many damgers of its own. Earthquakes, while not as common as further south, are still regular events. Living in the shadow of the Atlas Range also puts the cities at risk from mudslides and avalanches, while the Red River Dam and the Columbia River pose significant flooding hazards. Out to sea, the steady shipping traffic and passage of civilian vessels has started to draw the ire of the nearby Umiquan Empire, the warlike fish-people beginning to get very threatening about the pollution, noise and garbage.
 
Closer to home, the Elysian Forest, Atlas Mountains and Columbia have been hotbeds of rumors about strange creatures and mysterious sights, disappearances and inexplicable events since the area was ruled by the Chinook. Any heroes setting up in the region will have plenty of crank calls about UFOs, wingéd shadows and Sasquatches to deal with, long before the conspiracy theorists start to just  accost them in the street.
 
The Emerald Cities, especially ECS, have long had a simultaneous problem with a substantial homeless population and human trafficking. The neglect of one has not helped the other, and of all the problems in the city that needs heroes the most, caped or otherwise.
 
But there aren't any local supervillains. There never have been.
 
Honest.



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