This is the first article in a series focussing on Gnomes, Gnomeregan and how it has impacted them on a day-to-day basis. We will start out with a rundown of what happened in Gnomeregan, it is based on facts - but with some dramatization.
Disclaimer warning is warranted here, I think. This article deals with loss, deaths, maiming, personal horror, and related topics. If this sounds like something you don't need more of in your life, then please stop reading now, and if you are generally struggling with mental health then please seek help, whether that is in the form of talking to friends, family or a spiritual counsellor.
It was a Tuesday evening. Most gnomish families had just sat down for supper. It had been a day like most days recently. Splitting the attention between new inventions, maintaining old ones - oh and of course trying to stem the tides of Troggs breaking into the city's lower levels from below. Disturbed by dwarves - dwarves who dug too deep.
But tonight, was going to change everything for generations of gnomes to come. After five years of fighting the Troggs, five years of losses and five years of not being able to support the Alliance in their ongoing war - things where about to change. High Tinker Mekkatorque - spurred on by Sicco Thermaplugg - had decided on a desperate plan to solve the problem once and for all. The solution? To bathe the lower levels of the city in radiation.
The plan was carried out, the radioactive waste tanks were emptied into the venting system. But as we all know then it did not have the desired result. Troggs turned even more violent and dangerous, gnomes caught in the radiation turned into lepers - and midst it all rumours spread that Mekgineer Thermaplugg had betrayed the High Tinker, and indeed the entire race. Having gone mad, he had orchestrated the whole plan and stayed behind as the remaining gnomes fled for their safety, now as a new dark overlord.
"Troggs, the disgusting grotesquely hideous brutes tearing apart, mauling and crushing everything and everyone in their raging path, screaming and wounded Gnomes..."
"I... was on my way home, I'd just finished work and... I saw commotion, people running. I rushed to get home, and I found out what was going on. I helped evacuate my family, but... we didn't all make it. Some of my brothers got trapped behind a door that sealed itself shut and couldn't escape... It was... horrible, truly horrible."
Families lost children, siblings, parents, and grandparents on that Tuesday evening. Few made it out alive and the once great city, a true wonder of engineering and technology was lost.
"You know fear? it can be... paralyzing. They did not come out for fear of their own self, was a mother and her child. But that fear cost them..."
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The first stop for the survivors was Ironforge, where a meeting was held to address the situation. Some survivors wanted to try to retake the city immediately, but High Tinker Mekkatorque declined this. Their focus and main task were to support the Alliance. Their own home came second.
Wizzlesprigg F. C. Endeltire:
"At some parts of our journey to the outside we witnessed things no gnome should ever want to see again."
For some this was the final straw, not only had the High Tinker listened to the mad Thermaplugg and caused the whole situation - but now he was also refusing to try to retake the city. Disillusioned and with little hope they left the gnomish enclave in Ironforge and set out to find new homes, integrated themselves in other cities. Others stayed behind and still support High Tinker, and King, Mekkatorque to this day - he couldn't know Thermaplugg would betray them all, neither was it the right time to launch an assault on the place to retake it - mere days after they had had to flee.
Since then, there has been some effort done in trying to remedy that. Shortly before The Great Cataclysm
an attempt was made to retake the city, this time with the aid of the Alliance. Code name: Operation Gnomeregan
was partly successful, and the surface area was recaptured as well as part of the former marvel of a city, yet there is still much to do and there is daily battles between leper Gnomes, troggs and Gnomeregan exiles supported by various gnomish special units - such as S.A.F.E and G-Team.
Rumours claim several of Sicco Thermaplugg's lieutenants have been dealt with, and some even claim the traitor himself has been eliminated, other rumours claim the automated defence system and bots of various kinds have been activated for no apparent reason, but one thing remains a fact: large parts of the city are still flooded with radiation, troggs and leper gnomes. There is a lot of work to be done if the gnomes are to ever retake the city fully.
That is the history lesson, but what was it like to live through those horrific days? Find out in this series of articles. We retell the stories brave gnomes have told us over the last few weeks. We investigate their hopes and dreams of the future. We try to answer how it has impacted the lives of the survivors - shaped their own destinies and the future of gnomish culture.
These are the things we will delve into in the next couple of articles.
Thank you, gnomes, for always supporting the Alliance, even when your own city is lost, and a special thanks to the brave gnomes who has agreed to share their personal and painful stories, without them, these articles would not have been possible.