We are nearing the end of the series about the Fall of Gnomeregan. There is one last article where I try to finish this series with some perspectives on the future.
If you have not read the previous four articles in this series, then I’d recommend doing so.
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.
This is the story of Bertel Wobblespring, a name a lot of people will recognize for the monthly poetry meetings. Speaking of - next one is on Friday the 8th, 20:00 in Dalaran.
Where the previous articles have been interviews, then this will take a slightly different form. Bertel preferred to write his feelings and thoughts down, so we bring that here in a slightly edited version. The rest of this article is the words of Bertel Wobblespring.
The following is me trying to describe an experience I had a while ago when trying to remember that terrible day when Gnomeregan fell.
Thinking back on my final hours in Gnomeregan before the fall it all appeared to me as a blurry memory of some distant terrible nightmare, it seemed oddly unreal, like it actually never really happened, and like I had not actually been there.
And though I really didn't want to go there I still attempted to remember some details, but all I really was able to recall was the condensed sense of chaos, hopelessness, fear, and dread everywhere.
Then my body suddenly convoluted violently, and I felt a messed-up jumble of unpleasant emotions rush through my body, disgust, sadness, fear, anger, all mixed together in one big terrible incoherent stream that at alarming pace seemed to be filling up my entire body, constantly intensifying till nothing else seemed left, as I, in a flashback like state was bombarded with memories:
Troggs, the disgusting grotesquely hideous brutes tearing apart, mauling, and crushing everything and everyone in their raging path, screaming and wounded Gnomes.
Gnomes seemingly just blindly following a mere reflex that told their bodies to flee, running aimlessly about like headless chickens, as if in some absolute state of pure panic, or as if their minds had already resigned to the fate of death and given up all hopes of escaping the death trap our home had turned into. The deafening roar of ever wailing sirens and blinding violently pulsating red lights, that almost made it appear as if they were the chief conductors orchestrating all this destruction and misery, and not least I remembered the terrifying horror that quickly enveloped the whole city in a final crushing brutal embrace of ultimate mayhem and defeat as people eventually began to realize the poisonous nature of the green gas that had been seeping out of the vents everywhere. The devastating true magnitude of the tragedy categorically became paralyzing clear to most of the inhabitants of Gnomeregan.
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There was another foggy green and red flash of light closely followed by a blurred scenery, gradually becoming clearer. Of a Gnome child clinging to her dying parents, while letting out piercing cries of despair whenever she caught back her breath in between choked sobbing, then finally just darkness and a shriek of pain as I felt as if a million tiny, long needles had penetrated me.
After that nothing, like a switch had been flicked and the light turned out in my brain.
The aftershock ripples of the unpleasant emotions that had evolved into an unbearable pure eruption of terrible emotions, and the memories they were attached to, still lingered in my body when I regained consciousness laying crumpled up in foetal position on the floor in my house in Ironforge.
The rest of the day I was left with an uneasy feeling, pondering on the intense unpleasant experience I had just had, but at the same time oddly enough I also felt a strange sense of relief, as if some until then indeterminable subliminal burden I must have had carrying around bottled up inside me for a long, long time had left my mind.
A Gnomish Lament: The Fall of Gnomeregan
In depths beneath the earth and stone
lived clever gnomes on clockwork thrones,
who shaped and wrought and built and sought
to master craft and lore unknown.
In days of yore they lived in peace
and gifted all; a masterpiece
to dwarven friend and elves and men
that their wonder and mirth increase.
From iron came such wondrous things;
The tinker’d toys that dance and sing,
And sleepless guards of steel unscarred,
And metal birds with shining wings.
The moon and stars they caught in glass
and placed in trees of steel and brass;
there burning bright the sparkling lights
lit every home and winding pass.
On endless rails of steel they drove
the roaring trams. On coils they wove
the untamed storm. On written form
they scribed their spells and arcane trove.
In depths beneath the earth and skies
lived cunning gnomes, so great and wise,
who crafted dreams from steel and steam
unseen by men or dwarven eyes.
The gnomes there lived in peace so grand
and their renown spread through the land
But traitor’s lust turned peace to dust
and doom befell from liar’s hand.
The horns were blaring through the halls;
the heralds of the bitter fall.
The lights shone red and pulsed with dread
and lit in crimson the cavern walls.
The troggs came forth and broke and slew,
and all gnomes, fearing, wept and flew
from cruel claw and rabid maw
and poisoned air the vents had spewed.
In depths beneath the earth and stone
lies Gnomeregan, our ancient home.
Ever in thought, forgotten not,
and in due time, its halls we’ll own.
- Arcus Gearstorm