Warcraft Short Story – Sanity is an Illusion

 

 

Gnomeregan

The former capital city and true evidence of Gnome ingenuity. Though the Gnomes, to this very day, are still trying to retake their home slowly from the hands of Sicco Thermaplugg, one cannot deny that this race is one of the most intelligent of all Azeroth. Their kindness also knows no bounds, given that they are able to maintain a smile and still aid their allies, despise the events that have placed plenty of their own kind in danger and without a home. It will take a few more years to retake Gnomeregan, to clean it from the radiation, the troggs and from Thermaplugg himself!

However, this story takes place long before the events that have lead to the invasion of the Troggs.

 

 

Midrixie, a female Gnome that was still trying to reach adulthood, was the only child that lived with her loving parents. She was also familiar with a few other members of her family, enjoying a rather cozy social environment with those of the same blood. Together, they focused on forging metals and crafting. To create cogs, bolts and other basic necessities that a tinker needs. It was their business, though some of the family members also possessed other hobbies on their own. Midrixie was no different, being an outgoing Gnome that took interest in the most philosophical questions of the time.

While it’s true that the Gnomish historical records are very scarce, Midrixie would still question the purpose of life and how Gnomes came to be. In a forward thinking meritocratic society that values the inventions and technological breakthroughs and contributions from every individual, there has always been room for Gnomes who enjoyed studying particular fields. Her family and peers saw that aspect of her as only temporary. She was a teenager, still trying to reach adulthood and finding her own path, perhaps even a subtle hint of rebellion. Her questions could very well had meant that her future was one of a devoted in the arts of the arcane.

 

Given her family’s suspicions and predictions, they tried to encourage her thirst for answers to the most existential questions in life by asking one of their own family friends to come and visit their daughter. To answer her questions, to use her curiosity in something productive. Perhaps, even one day, becoming a Mage or, even more peculiar, a Techno Mage. This middle aged female Gnome’s name was Indus; clearly given by ambitious progenitors who wanted her daughter to be just as great as Indus, “the inventor” of Dalaran and member of the Council of Tirisfal more than two millenniums ago.

Indus, when proposed to explore the potential within Midrixie to unravel the wonders of the arcane, felt flattered and pleased with the idea of having an aspiring apprentice. Midrixie, on the other hand, remained suspicious of Indus’ kindness. Indus was, after all, aspiring to become a member of the Kirin Tor. Her support felt dishonest, but Midrixie accepted her aid nonetheless. Indus was quite demanding and she expected much of Midrixie. Growing frustrated and impatient with her student’s failures, Indus was quick to give up on Midrixie and to inform her parents that she was useless as a caster. That this teenager was too emotional and hard to rationalize with, despise her interest in philosophy.

This obviously wasn’t an experience that Midrixie would forget easily, growing some resentment for the society around her. She expressed her dissatisfaction over her family’s business, refusing to work. The signs of rebellion were evident and her parents began to feel and express their disapproval, believing the words that came from Indus on the day she returned to them with their daughter in tears.

 

Time continued to flow, Midrixie was growing older and was near adulthood. Once an extrovert, she was now avoiding contact with the people around her. She could not trust her family members, that continued to label her as a troubled teenager and someone that lacked direction in her life. She still had to invent something, to create a name in Gnomish society. A discovery, anything of importance to her own kind. Was her life destined to be a mere cog in a machine? Was that the life of a Gnome? How did it all came to be and why was no one interested in those questions?

 

Deciding to visit the surface, Midrixie traveled to Ironforge with one of her cousins. It was not the first time, though she never traveled beyond Dun Morogh. But she had seen plenty of Dwarves in her life and, thus, was somewhat familiar with their culture. It was always a refreshing view to be surrounded by Dwarves, given that they were more diverse than her own kind, or so she would always think to herself with a smile in her face. She didn’t felt the pressure to be an inventor, or a wizard. She enjoyed every moment that she was away from the influence of Gnomish society!

That day, she opened to her cousin. She explained her emotions, that she was not happy living in Gnomeregan. That, perhaps, the answer to her questions did not rest within their own capital.. but outside in the world. Touched by her words, her cousin told her that they could stay in Ironforge for a week, instead of a mere night that they had planned in order to trade their goods for a few pieces of silver coins.

During this week, Midrixie had the chance to visit the Hall of Explorers and the Library within. This fascinated her but it did not answer the questions that she had. Even she, herself, didn’t knew why these questions were of so much importance to her. Where was her curiosity leading to and why? Her obsession was a mystery to herself, not allowing her to enjoy the life that her parents had planned for her. But part of life is to grow and to become an individual, able to think for themselves. With this experience, she learned that her questions were only a manifestation of what she was feeling. Trapped, conditioned by the environment she had grown that already had a future planned for her.

She felt ready to come home and tell her parents about this discovery, that her destiny was for her to carve, to answer herself and not to ask others what was her fate as a Gnome. What is a Gnome? What is the purpose in life, for a Gnome?

 

Life isn’t easy. Once she returned home with her cousin, her parents shown concern as to why they came home nearly a week later than anticipated. Midrixie explained, feeling confident that her parents would understand, much like her cousin. To her surprise, they did not and her cowardly cousin wasn’t there to help when she needed! They expected much of her, as the only child. They could never let her go, they only wished for her daughter to remain with them and, if she so desired, expand the family lineage. Again, they concluded that it was yet another manifestation of her rebellion.

From that point forward, Midrixie was forced to work for her family. The family business, within Gnomeregan. Again, this lack of acceptance for their daughter’s free will and emotions caused her to retract from any meaningful conversation with anyone! Apathy was her companion, her heart grown cold to any form of flattery to her performance in the tasks given to her. She started to question herself, to question Gnomish society in her mind. She didn’t felt safe and loved enough to express her doubts and dark emotions.

She stopped to read, she stopped to wander in the streets of Gnomeregan. She also stopped spending time with her family outside of working hours.

 

Her thoughts were only hers to listen. And that’s when she started to talk to herself out loud, privately. Away from those that could hear her nagging, her complains, her questions, her tears, her hatred and rebellion.

But.. there’s always someone that can hear, even the darkest of secrets. Gnomeregan is an underground capital city. Within the ground, a large shadow is cast in every corner. It’s cold, logical. Much like the machinery that is build within it. And there are Gnomes that can fall into despair. Is any Gnome truly sane? There are stories that warn about the corruption of those with the most brilliant of minds when they are rejected by their peers. Midrixie, as trivial and not as tragic as her example can be compared to so many, is one of them. Born from a mere rebellion, never solved in adulthood. Her life was an illusion, created by her family and friends, much like the idea of being sane.

 

 

This darkness, this shadow.. it spoke. And it told her that “Sanity is an Illusion”.

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