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    "We were surprised at the silence of Gnomeregan durin' the Third War, High Tinker.  Had we known of the treachery underground, we would've sent aid."

    Magni Bronzebeard settled back in his massive stone throne, thick and calloused fingers stroking his long, red beard.  He could barely believe the story he heard, the invasion and annihilation of one of his strongest allies.  Still, he'd never seen so many gnomes in one place before.  Hundreds of them swarmed through his gates just a few hours ago.  The masses overpopulated Ironforge, their tiny bodies filling every possible housing space, but it was nowhere near the number believed to once fill Gnomeregan.  If the story was true, the last remnants of an entire race bleakly occupied his halls.

    Gelbin scowled, crossing his strong arms, "You wouldn't have sent aid, Magni.  Your war encompassed the entire planet.  Sicco had alternative reasons for keeping you in the dark, but he was still correct.  You didn't have the manpower to help, nor do you still."

    "To the point, as always," the dwarf lord huffed.  "You certainly weren' elected for yer tact."

    "I was elected for my brain, one that was foolishly led to destruction by my closest friend.  I will not make that mistake again.  We, the survivors, appreciate the hospitality of our dwarf allies but we will not remain here forever.  We will rebuild and we will reclaim what is ours.  Those trapped within the tomb of Gnomeregan will be rescued and Sicco Thermaplugg will die."

    High Tinker Mekkatorque abruptly turned and stormed from the throne room.  Waiting at the door, Indis already had several blueprints drafted from survivors.  New technologies, new strategies, each physical proof of the dedication of his people.  His chest burned with pride.  What other race could produce such brilliant designs so soon after surviving the horrors in Gnomeregan?  They deserved their home, deserved vengeance.  It was Gelbin's weakness and foolishness that all but destroyed his people.

    He wouldn't fail them again.
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The final piece of The Fall of Gnomeregan, my submission to Blizzard's 2010 writing contest.

I shouldn't have tried to write something so big for such a tight word limit. I mean the genocide of an entire people, the falling out of two close friends, the reconstruction of a king's entire view on life? Yeah, not enough words.

I won't make that mistake next year.
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January 6, 2011
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