|High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque|
High Tinker of Gnomeregan
Gelbin Mekkatorque is the current High Tinker of Gnomeregan. Elected some time before the Second War, he has led the Gnomes through some of the hardest and most difficult times for his people.
Little is known about Gelbin's past prior to being elected High Tinker. However, it is said that his first and most popular invention, the Mechanostrider, was what began his rise to the position.
Gelbin graduated from Gearshaft University, where his friend and fellow graduate Sicco Thermaplugg gifted him with a pair of mithril-rimmed lenses which he wore at almost all times until the fall of Gnomeregan. Gelbin's first invention, the Mechanostrider, revolutionized travel amongst the world for the Gnomes and provided an effective method of personal transport, finally putting the gnomes on par with the humans and their horses. From then on, Mekkatorque continued his work, pumping out invention after invention, each one benefiting and furthering the Gnomish race and their technology. His inventions included the gyromatic micro-adjustor, the repair bot, the schematics for the Deeprun Tram and even the prototype of the dwarven siege engine.
For his various technological triumphs, he was elected High Tinker by his fellows. However, that sent his friend and colleague Thermaplugg down a path of envy and jealousy, which would later bring him to convince Gelbin to irradiate Gnomeregan.
While the gnomes were present in the Alliance of Lordaeron formed due to the First War, they were not represented as a faction but rather by a delegate from Ironforge. Seeking to prove themselves, the Gnomes became invaluable during the Second War, their advanced machinery and weapons gave the Alliance much needed support, as their Gnomish Flying Machine scouts sweeped the air, and their submarine vessels provided much needed naval support.
Following the Second War, the rebuilding of Stormwind began. However, it was obvious that travel to and from the north was difficult, and so King Magni Bronzebeard requested Gelbin's help to create a fast and easy method of transportation. Gelbin then began his work on what would eventually become the Deeprun Tram, designing the schematics. It is said that he even made a mock model of the tram out of pie tins. He additionally took part in the actual building of the tram, and kept Turalyon informed about any updates or problems with the construction.
Prior to the Third War, Sicco Thermaplugg and Gelbin had been designing the prototype for the Dwarven Siege Engine, eventually being perfected sometime during the war. While the Gnomes continued to supply their allies with their machinery and weapons, the Gnomes had taken very little part in the war. During the Burning Legion invasion, Gelbin did not send aid to the Alliance, much to their surprise. However, Gelbin's reason was far from self-centered, when it was revealed exactly why he hadn't sent aid.
Fall of Gnomeregan
During the Third War, Gnomeregan had been invaded by the troggs, a race of primitive savages that were the prototype for the Earthens. The troggs had broken through the lower reaches of the city, invading from the depths of the earth. Knowing that the Alliance was already busy with the Burning Legion invasion, Gelbin tried to find a way to handle the trogg invasion without the Alliance. His top advisor and friend, Thermaplugg, suggested to release a toxic gas that would kill the troggs as they invaded.
Thermaplugg claimed to have tested the radiation levels of the gas, claiming to have evidence of its effects on the troggs, and showed Gelbin falsified numbers on its statistics. According to Thermaplug's calculations, the gas should have stayed in the quarantined sections of Gnomeregan, poisoning the invaders as they emerged from the depths while the gnomes waited safely sealed away in the upper urban tunnels, kept away from the population by Thermaplugg's gas filters.
With little time to spare and confident in his friend's plan, Gelbin released the gas, but to his horror, instead of killing the troggs it merely enraged them as they were irradiated. The gas filters failed, and the houses of numerous gnomes were filled as they waited, believing themselves to be safe. The casualties had climbed to over 80% of the gnomish population. Unable to hold back the troggs or take any more deaths, Gelbin was forced to order the evacuation of Gnomeregan, leading his people away from their beloved city.
Leading his people into exile, he sought refuge within Ironforge, where the dwarves granted them safe harbor and a district within their city. They established the gnomish district of Tinker Town, from where Gelbin began planning to retake the city. Many times did he send a group of adventurers into Gnomeregan, each returning with the news of Thermaplugg's downfall. However, each time it was revealed it wasn't really him.
While he spent much of his time planning to retake Gnomeregan, he still took the time to send some of his people to Outland, and later, Northrend. He also makes public appearances at Brewfest, where he takes the time to speak to the revelers before doing the ceremonial tapping of the keg.
After years of planning, Gelbin finally set his plans for the reclamation of Gnomeregan in motion, commencing Operation: Gnomeregan. Calling for support from the gnomes and from the Alliance, Gelbin personally led the operation against Thermaplugg's forces. The combined Alliance forces successfully reclaimed Gnomeregan's exterior and delved into the gnomish city. Fighting through waves of troggs and leper gnomes, they reached the Loading Room where they found a fully-functional radiation bomb based on the one that irradiated the city so many years ago, but twenty-six time more powerful. Gelbin attempted to disarm it, but Thermaplugg hastened the countdown, forcing them to retreat. Through the quick use of Jhordy Lapforge's teleportation device, they were able to escape to the surface right before the irradiator exploded.
Despite having been forced to fall back, Gelbin was happy in the knowledge that Thermaplugg had been dealt a blow he'd not recover from soon.
Ambush in Sector 17
As the push to retake Gnomeregan continued, Gelbin became eager to inspect his old living quarters of Sector 17, which had recently been retaken. Although he found it rather odd that the section was so easily retaken, he got caught up in his own emotions, remembering the past and the fall of Gnomeregan. After years of having to put a strong image for his people, Gelbin finally let his emotions out, weeping over the loss of his people and feeling somewhat better after doing so. As he prepared to leave, he found his mithril spectacles on the arm of his troll chair, having left them behind in the evacuation. Picking them up, he realized too late that it was a trap set out by Thermaplugg as a trip wire was tied to the glasses.
Having ordered his guards away in order to inspect his quarters and having forgotten his weapon, Gelbin was surrounded by three troggs as Thermaplugg gloated on the intercom. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Gelbin successfully dispatched the troggs. Enraged and not willing to let Gelbin escape after all this time, Thermaplugg arrived to deal with him personally. In the end, he was outsmarted by the High Tinker, who used the trap to cut him in half. Even though he had lost his legs, Thermaplugg survived with minimal blood loss due to his battle suit cauterizing his wounds, but Gelbin decided to leave him for dead as an appropriate punishment for his crimes against the gnomes.
In the initial events that lead to the Shattering, Gelbin was present at a meeting in Stormwind City called by Magni Bronzebeard. During the meeting, Gelbin mentioned a large seismic activity that could potentially endanger Ironforge. During the elemental attakcs, he defended the Military Ward.
After the Shattering, Gelbin returned his attention to Gnomeregan. The exterior had cleared out, and he led the gnomes back to their city. The reclaimed areas of the surface had been renamed New Tinkertown and was their new base of operations against Thermaplugg's forces.
Gelbin was also present at the Alliance summit in Darnassus where he represented the gnomes at the vote to include Gilneas in the Alliance. He had a misunderstanding when he nearly ran over Moira Thaurissan's chief aide Drukan with his experimental mechanostrider, which nearly caused the two delagations to come to blows before they were calmed down.
War against the Horde
When word reached the Alliance about the Bombing of Theramore, Gelbin personally travelled to Stormwind. Upon arrival, he and the other present Alliance leaders began planning a counter-offensive against the Horde's naval blockade of Kalimdor.
He was also present for the Siege of Orgrimmar, where he and his forces established a perimeter in the Underhold. In the aftermath of the siege, he had his people collect as much of the goblin technology as possible before they left.
He was also present at the Trial of Garrosh Hellscream, having received an invitation from Xuen.
Gelbin is the genius behind the invention of the Mechanostrider, the gyromatic micro-adjustor, the repair bot, the Deeprun Tram and, with the help of his former friend Sicco Thermaplugg, the prototype of the dwarven siege engine. With the help of some of his top men and women, he also created a keg tapper after going through many prototype models.