When she was a child, her name wasn’t that big of a deal. There were…weirder ones, by the human standard. Torquetwist. Metalopolis. Quarkcatcher. Although to be fair Metal got a lot of grief back in grade school…but anyways. The human standard, that was it. That was when she began to get frustrated.
Not that she didn’t have her moments already. Her parents were a little odd. They’d been rescued from Gnomeregan like so many others, and cured before the plague did any real damage, but there was still almost something. Mom would sometimes just stop and stare of in the distance, her hands twisting and picking or turning on whatever she had been working on at the time. Often for so long the lug nut she’d been ratcheting into place would get stripped and turn uselessly, or the wire end up a tangled, knotted ball of metal on the line. Then she or dad would have to gently remove her hands and let her have a lie down.
And dad…he’d have cackling fits sometimes, always a little twitchy around anything green. Hence why they stayed in the predominantly chilled Ironforge. He hated trees. Grass. Loved the dark, red and gold and sulphorous works around the great Anvil. Did his bit to support the family by crafting blacksmithing tools for the dwarves, often ones of great delicacy for finer work.
She had a name. And expectations.
The dwarves didn’t really seem to care, on one level. Gnomes were always just…underfoot, heh. And dwarves would use their surnames and real names interchangeably. Her nickname in school for the longest time was Whizzer. But there was this thing… oh, what engineering class are you going to take. Hey, did you catch that new shipment of whateverthefuck alloys and new schematics and who the hell cared. What’s your favourite tool. How the fuck was she supposed to know? Dad would make her toys or she’d flip through a electrical magazine once in a while but that whole… expectation. Clever little gnome. Crafter. Tinkerer. The dwarves started it and it pissed her off. She wanted to read. She wanted to be like the knights in the books, or the grand, golden figures who sometimes strode through the halls. A knight, yeah. Blessed by the light, fighting evil and stuff. Beating up bullies. That was *cool*. That felt *right*.
She got sent home a lot from school. Because of the fights. Usually other gnome kids, although they got concerned when she began starting them with dwarves. Size or not, she wasn’t dealing with that shit.
Mom would get worried and get lost working the lathe like she did. Dad was just confused, bless his heart. He couldn’t imagine she didn’t love the tools as much as he did and she never had the heart to tell him. And then the gnome teacher sniffed and said she was failing maths and was better doing something more… “physical”, with the air quotes and everything. And her dwarf teacher, who’d been eyeballing her since the last fight, agreed and then she was sent to train or squire with the other little warriors.
It was fun, but… she’d want to read. She was more religious back then. Mom and Dad weren’t. She’d beg them to move to Stormwind so she could go to the Cathedral school. They just made faces. Liberal arts? Religious studies? Oh, no, those were for people without understanding. Who couldn’t trust in the real world. Science. Solid, tangible things.
It got ugly.
She shouldn’t have shouted…said what she did. About the plague. About the healers who’d worked so hard for them. About how science didn’t save their minds.
She was very sorry later. Mom and Dad just kind of slumped, and the next day they’d quietly bought her a ticket on the tram to Stormwind and a bag of gold for lodging and a letter from her teacher for the Cathedral. They’d always done that…never denied her much, always worked hard to make sure she was cared for. And it made leaving so, so hard. So she tried to make it up to them. Helped mom put together those mechanized mine carts. Made dad a crude automaton. Well, tried to anyways. The way his face lit up when she handed it to him nearly broke her heart. Well, shit. She was a crappy daughter for running off to Stormwind.
And the day of… Mom was quiet and handed her a scarf, Dad sobbed and placed several little odd knick knacks in her bags and warned her to stay off the grass and to watch for any unusual smells from the sewers. Who knew what those humans dumped down there.
So she left.