Dreaded defender of Gnome and Gadget kind
Nyx Waywocket, level 1 Gnome, Artificer
Hun? Oh. Hi. Busy… give me a few minutes.
hum never mind.
crawls back inside a large iron shell
What was it you wanted to know? My backstory? What kinda of silly question is that? Do you stalk everybody about their backstory or am I just special? Can’t you see I’m busy here?
Oh? What am I making? Well this is actually an improvement on a previous design. From when I worked at the inn. Yup fun times. Dimson wasn’t the greatest place to find gadgets, but it was way better than Trap Cown where I landed. Lots of trade there. And dwarfs came through all the time! Those guys can be grouchy sometimes (Like that time I set Ol’Griff’s beard on fire. Boy was he grouchy then! Griff the Gruff I used to call ‘im.) But you can always count on them to have neat stuff. Got to be known as the Fix-It of the city. Sometimes people would even let me make improvements on the stuff they brought in. Would use money from fixing stuff to fund my inventions.
Like my Bread Maker. Would combine all the ingredients, kneed the dough, let it rise and then put it in the oven- all automagically! It works really really well too! Could even do multiple loafs at once! Why, there was one night when the Automagic Cycler malfunctioned and it made 500 loafs of bread in 6 hours! Talk about cool! Well some of the later loafs were a bit off… but that was just because it had to get creative with ingredients.
Actually I used a very similar mechanism with my Copy Machine. Well.. I thought I’d fixed the glitch on the Automagic Cycler.. and I had. It’s just that when I tried to increase the copying speed the Cycler burned out which ended with the same effect. It did copy every book in that section of the library though—just into every other book in that section of the library. You shoulda seen the look on Professor Tylor Hilvenor’s face! It was redder than burning strontium carbonate!
Dimson? No. No. This was in Hidor. I had to leave the inn after the Furnace repair incident. Well.. um that. See I had hooked up the common room fire (which was also connected to the kitchens) to a delivery system for the whole inn. It worked really really well too. But over the summer between just general wear and occasional minor.. disturbances… the fittings must have loosened. The next winter I just was never able to get it right again. I was applying insulation to the pipes when something must have gotten clogged. Well long story short I woulda noticed the smell if I hadn’t been visiting my friends Ogmi and Norvi down at the Griff’s Scarps. They’d always let me go through boxes of new scrap for gears and springs. Much cheaper than going to traders.. and I didn’t have a lot of money back then. Anyway long story short pressurized fuel and a spark in the wrong place meant the inn suddenly needed a new roof. Mistress Hannah De’Dorren ended up chasing me out with a broom- even after I told her about the idea I had for fixing the roof!
Speaking of holes in roofs, that reminds me of when I left Bres. Well see Bres is really a great place. Amazing! You should see all the things people come up with at the Academy! And there were vats of boxes for parts. None of this having to salvage parts from old machines… though we did that too. But yeah. vats and vats of gadgety goodness. And steel reinforced walls. Very convenient. But there’s no creativity. Gran-Pop said that before Croncor took over, Bres had a spark to it. People could work on whatever they wanted.. whenever they wanted. Creativity was everywhere. Just walking down the street.. (well you never walked down the street in those days.. everybody had a different Go Faster device.) There would be so many amazing inventions. Every shop owner had half a dozen ‘Helpers’. and the streets buzzed with creativity…...
What? oh yeah! Well after Croncor took over they gave us focus… got us all working on the same project… none of this 500 ways of doing the same thing. We had to pick one and go with it. But where’s the creativity in that? The innovation? Well I’ve never been one to be stifled… or at least never one to be tied down to any one project for too long. They tried to force me to to focus on Stablizers.. and it was really interesting I swear! but that was the only project they assigned me. How’s a gnome to work in those kinds of conditions Well I kept coming up with different nifty side projects.. but I had to hide em from the boss or I’d get shouted at. No appreciation whatsoever.
Well all was fine until my Bumble Caltrops escaped. They ended up making a total mess of the shop and setting off one of the Fuel Lodges. Well after that I was assigned to this really nasty guy from Fongor. Wouldn’t know the right end of a spark plug if it bit ‘im…. And I made them bite him a few times too. What was his name… oh yeah. Galdain No Brain.. actually I don’t think that was actually his last name but meh. Usually had to call him ‘Boss’ or ‘Sir’ to his face so didn’t matter if I knew his name or not. He was a mean guy. No patience whatsoever. If I didn’t work on exactly what was assigned, he’d punish me.
Usually I was able to play off my side projects as pieces for the main one (did I mention he couldn’t tell one end of a spark plug from the other?), but not always. He caught me making an Automated Coffee Brewer. I love coffee by the way. He was holding it up shaking it at me and I was trying to convince him that it a new fuel injection system. I’d almost convinced him too, but the Brewer dinged just at the wrong time and out popped a cup of coffee… onto his head. Well it didn’t help that the Temperature Adjuster had been set to maximum. He was Galdain Red Brain for a week after that.
Of course I spent that week in solitary confinement. No people, no books, no tools.
After that I had to get outta there. Well they were having me work on the Jet Propulsion Systems at that point. All I had to do was add wings and a Shoot-Out-The-Roof device and I was gone! Didn’t have time to add Steering and Landing Systems though. Ended up crashing in the mountains once my special Go Forward Really Fast supply ran out. Right into a windmill.
Fun stuff flying! Zip! Zoom! Covered so much ground so very very fast!! Didn’t really get to see too much of it though. Flying too fast. Oh? Windmill? yeah. In Trap Cown. Boring place really. Neat windmill though.. at least once I fixed it. Didn’t really have enough going on to give me a reason to stay. Just hung out long enough to convert some of the parts from my Jet-Wing-Fly-Mabobber into a Go-Faster-While-Still-On-Land device and I was off. Those things are so fun to make.. just can’t seem to make one that will hold up over long journeys though. Usually I just go until it falls apart and if I like where I ended up I stay and use the parts for whatever my next project is.
Oh! That reminds me of my favoretest place I ever ended up… next to Bres of course. Found an alchemy shop there and made a Follow-Around-Motion-Detection-Lamp from my Self-Propelled Keep Ahead of Totally Everybody System (SKATES for short). Avarar had a bunch of dark hallways and he’d always need both hands to carry stuff. Besides it was also good for night watch patrol at night. Sure I had to adjust the Closeness Sensor a few times after he tripped over it and dropped all of his chemicals, but it really did work very well. And the Alarm System on the guard device only malfunctioned a couple of times….
Speaking of Mindle, the magic essence factories in Mindle were fantasitc! The place had so many neat shops too. Though the coolest shop I’ve been to has to be Zuran’s Emporium Of Spectacular Marvels. Zur-Zur had stuff from everywhere hiding about in there! Looking at all the new arrivals always gave me new ideas for inventions… You should have seen what he had in the back rooms!! When I get a chance I’m going to sit down and rebuild my GUARD system using claw shrimp eyes. Bet having a Semi-sentient Observation Facility would completely solve the problem of false alarms.
But yeah. Avarar was great. Sure he had focus issues too, just like the guys in Croncor, but I don’t hold it against him. He taught me a lot of neat stuff about alchemy. He said I was really good at it too… but he got frustrated ‘cause I like practicing and testing new things. He said I was combining things without thinking- but that wasn’t true at all. I knew perfectly what what happens when you combine ammonia and iodine. I was just curious about how it would work when applied under some cheese in a mouse trap. We had a bit of a rat problem in the lab after all. That’s half the reason the GUARD went off randomly.
Speaking of traps… you should have seen the device I came up with for capturing Grenseel. Don’t know if it’d actually work, the people really didn’t give me much to work with. But hey, it got me free passage to Grens… which was kinda necessary at the time what with getting kicked out of the library an all. Didn’t I mention that Professor Tylor was a bit upset when my Copy Machine malfunctioned? I wasn’t really aiming for Grens… but I’d heard Irbound was a pretty neat place and I needed a job.
So that’s how I got here. Been working at one of the Magic Essence Factories ever since. Though I’ve been helping out at the inn whenever I can. That’s what this thing is here. An Automated Brewing Machine. Just put some barley and yeast in at the beginning and wait a while and you’ve got beer. Though I’m having trouble keeping it from leaking.. and it sours the whole batch if any air gets in there. I’ll get it right eventually. Though I’m meeting with some people tonight, and I think they might be wanting me to work on something out of town. Won’t be able to bring this thing with me if that happens. That’s why I’ve got to finish it before then.
So you can see. Very busy here. Don’t you have someone else to pester about their backstory?