The newest leader short story in Blizzard's series of behind-the-leader lore details Gelbin Mekkatorque, the High Tinker of the gnomes of Gnomeregan. Written by Cameron Dayton, Gelbin Mekkatorque: Cut Short details the High Tinker's fight for Gnomeregan against traitor Sicco Thermaplug, as well as Mekkatorque's coming to terms with his anger and frustration over his people's plight. We are finally treated to some back story about the gnomish leader and his emotional response to his city falling and his people dying, his place in the Alliance of the Eastern Kingdoms, and the resolution to Operation: Gnomeregan.
As the battle for Gnomeregan continues to be fought, Mekkatorque finds his way back to his old study, where his memories and introspection begin. His thoughts hit topics ranging from the election of gnomish leaders, Gelbin's first Alliance operation in the Second War against the Horde, and the inconceivable notion that Thermaplug, a gnome himself, would bring about such horrible destruction on his own people.
One of the more interesting aspects of the story is the way Dayton approaches Gelbin Mekktorque's understanding of engineering and the way things work. Almost like Neo in The Matrix, Mekkatorque has an innate understanding of machinery to the point of seeing blueprints appear before him in the real world. Using these skills and attunement to technology, Mekkatorque proves to be a clever combatant and a savage fighter in an unexpectedly gruesome battle.
The question on everyone's minds is whether or not the gnomes gain some kind of legitimacy through this story. For a good, long while, gnomes have been seen as the goofy joke-race in WoW, always smiling and cheerful when their history proves they have little reason to be. Their motif is at constant war with the gritty nature of the other Alliance races, and has not served them well in the past. Cut Short does what Operation: Gnomeregan started -- give the gnomes purpose and motive in a world where they are overshadowed by Blizzard's other, potentially more successful characterizations. You will enjoy this story, if just for the fact that the gnomes finally make headway in our hearts as voracious and stalwart refugees taking back their home.