Adventurers hate him! Gnomish Engineer learns one weird trick to turn a prosperous city into an awful dungeon.
"Explosions! MORE explosions! I got to have more explosions!"
Mekgineer Sicco Thermaplugg
was once a brilliant and ambitious gnome. He dreamed of becoming High Tinker, and leading his people into a new age of glory! He would carve out a new gnomish empire out of Dun Morogh (never mind the dwarves that lived there too), and become the first true King of the Gnomes in over four hundred years (never mind democracy). Everything was going to plan until the gnomish people elected his much more humble best friend, Geblin Mekkatorque
to serve as High Tinker instead. Turned out gnomes were more interested in mechanostriders than VISION FOR THE FUTURE. Enraged at his best friend's sudden and unexpected betrayal, Thermaplugg decided that Gnomeregan would be his, or he would see it burned to ashes around him.
Thermaplugg naturally became one of Mekkatorque's chief advisors, the newly elected High Tinker had no reason to suspect that his best friend was harbouring some sort of insane grudge and burning hatred for him. As chief advisor, Thermaplugg was happy to feed Mekkatorque all sorts of terrible advice until he could finally claim the position of High Tinker for himself. Despite constantly scheming to destroy him however, Thermaplugg and Mekkatorque continued to work well together: their continued engineering collaboration resulting in the construction of the Deeprun Tram, and the development of the steam tank.
During the Third War, Gnomeregan was unexpectedly attacked by rampaging troggs. Thermaplugg's plan to exploit the trogg invasion was simple: give Mekkatorque terrible advice, watch him botch everything, and then swoop, save the day, become a hero, get elected High Tinker, profit, become King of the Gnomes, win everything forever. Mekkatorque initially wanted to turned to their allies in the Alliance, however Thermaplugg noted that they had troubles of their own, what with plague and an undead invasion overrunning most of Lordaeron at the time. Also something about demons. Not wanting to be a burden on his allies, Mekkatorque followed Thermaplugg's advice and temporally withdrew from the Alliance, and closed the gates of Gnomeregan while they resolved the trogg menace on their own. Despite the gnomes' ingenuity, there were still a lot of troggs. Thermaplugg convinced Mekkatorque the the only solution was pollution. Specifically, an emergency venting of the city's radioactive waste tanks. The deadly gases would pool in the lower levels of Gnomeregan, wiping out the troggs, while the gnomes would be safe in the upper levels. Also, maybe throw in some sort of radioactive bomb just be sure.
"Usurpers! Gnomeregan is mine!"
Naturally, everything went wrong just like Thermaplugg planned. However, things ended up going more wrong than Thermaplugg wanted, and in fact very quickly spiraled completely out of control as the deadly radioactive gases filtered into upper levels and killing way more gnomes than intended. Instead of abandoning Mekkatorque in droves, the gnomes actually rallied to him as the situation suddenly became much more desperate and radioactive gases began to circulate throughout the gnomish city. Also, the gases seemed to make the troggs both stronger and angrier rather than killing him. Mekkatorque quickly gathered up as many survivors as he could, and evacuated the city, fleeing to the safety of Ironforge. As for Thermaplugg, he ended up trapped within Gnomeragan as he lost control of his schemes.
Trapped within the depths of Gnomeregan, Thermaplugg did not die. He refused to. Instead, he was mutated into leper gnome
, losing what fragments of his sanity that he still retained. Declaring himself High Tinker, and King of Gnomeregan, Thermaplugg rallied the other similarly mutated leper gnomes who had remained trapped in the city. He had achieved his dreams, albeit not as he'd intended, or wanted. He was now king of a dark, dank, radioactive hole in the ground, that was still full of angry, now mutant, troggs.
After analyzing the evidence, it became clear to Mekkatorque that his best friend had, in fact, been the architect of this disaster. However, his initial assumption that Thermaplugg had been killed was soon proven false. Declaring Thermaplugg a traitor to the gnomish race, Mekkatorque put a bounty on his head and waited for adventurers to do their killing thing. Sure enough, a group of brave and foolish adventurers soon ventured into Gnomeregan and killed Thermaplugg. However, further analysis proved that they'd just killed a robotic duplicate. Unlike Golem Lord Argelmach, Thermaplugg knew how to properly pull off a robotic doppelganger gambit. Despite his insanity, however, Thermaplugg was able to open diplomatic channels with the Dark Iron dwarves, allowing them access to Gnomeregan and aid in their plans to take Ironforge, in return for a piece of Ironforge for himself.
"No more shall our people live as refugees, as outcasts, as wretched, irradiated slaves chained to the yoke of a madman's war machine!"
After years of planning and preparation, Mekkatorque was finally ready to launch his assault on Gnomeregan and reclaim the city from Thermaplugg, and the troggs. While Operation: Gnomergan was able to secure the surface area around Gnomeregan, efforts to reclaim the city depths were halted when Thermaplugg unleashed his trump card: a new radiation bomb, twenty six times more powerful than the original. The extra radiation made for any further large scale operations impractical until it cleared. Mekkatorque instead decided to bide his time, building up his own forces by rescuing and curing irradiated leper gnomes, and sending survey and salvage teams, and adventurers, into the city until the time comes for a final strike.
On one survey mission, Thermaplugg nearly trapped and killed Mekkatorque with some troggs and his awesome new battlesuit. This backfired when Mekkatorque managed to cut him in half, leave him for dead, and escape.
Although Thermaplugg is only half the gnome he used to be (possibly less), he continues to rule the city, even if it is full of radiation, and mutants. Mekkatorque has since dispatched the G-Team, an elite force of gnomish commandos, as well as more adventurers, to deal with Thermaplugg. They have since successfully killed another robotic duplicate.