Atruaghin slept restlessly that night. His dreams were plagued by a peaceful Tauren village. As the bulls put their young ones to sleep, allaying their fears of those who would come in the night and tip them, a simultaneous cry and flame flared in the village as arrows rained down upon them. Thunderous hoof-beats accompanied the arrival of the Centaur herd as they crushed the Winteroat Clan beneath their iron-shod hooves. The Song of Tears played impossibly over the battle, as Atruaghin watched helplessly from the vantage point of the all-seeing raven. The leader of the centaur held a massive spear in both hands, drenched in the blood of innocent cow-men. A one-horned Tauren, himself covered in the blood of centaurs and in hastily donned armor, confronted the leader, wielding a massive warhammer. The dream faded as quickly as it came, and only a voice echoed in Atruaghin’s head, directing, “The time is now…”
The party, newly outfitted by dwarf and gnome alike, set forth for Gnomeregan, the former invention-capital of the Gnomish clans. Lured by the promise of treasure if they could withstand troggs, leper gnomes, and completely unavoidable and surely lethal doses of radiation, the group set forth in high spirits. Allarin managed to make his way from Dalaran to Ironforge without issue — no doubt assisted by some scheming mage — and the group pondered what trouble Mekgineer Thermaplug might pose. Or what other interests might be investigating the abandoned city…
With the giant clockwork portal standing before them, each member of the party downed a thick vial of glowing liquid. “This will be sure to stop that radiation!” Airslicer had claimed. It had better, given the taste had just about killed them in the process. Proceeding through the entrance, the bright light of the sun quickly gave way to a semi-permanent green glow that seemed to fill the caverns. Gnome bones littered the ground, surrounded by scraps. They finally came upon the outskirts of the city proper, and Wiggles went ahead to scout. The remainder of the group saw a light coming from a nearby building, and went to investigate.
Chizbolt snuck into the new building, while Syrnek, Atruaghin, and Allarin waited outside. After several minutes, the group grew concerned for his safety, and went to investigate. The goblin was dashing back and forth amidst several inanimate golems, cackling on occasion, muttering to himself, and occasionally reaching in to pull out a random spring or gear. While the group was distracted, a leper gnome patrol seized upon these invaders in their city and unleashed one of their magnificent inventions — the Crowd Pummeler X900!
Atruaghin charged into the battle, and crushed one of the leper gnome handlers beneath his hooves, leaving naught but a glowing paste behind him. Allerin lulled their feeble minds to sleep in the midst of battle, only to have the crowd of the pummeled beneath the not-so-friendly CPX900’s clawed feet. Leper gnomes fell to blade and bow, and soon only the construct and his lackeys who dared not stride forward remained.
Chizbolt, finally coercing one of the ancient gnomish machines to work — didn’t they know how to build a proper golem? — strode forth on his own construct. His diabolical cackle preceded his ingenious green form, and man — er, goblin and machine plowed into the CPX900 and delivered a fatal blow. Discouraged, the remaining leper gnomes fled into the darkness. The party took a short rest to recuperate as the first blood had been spilled on gnomish soil.