Fight of the gnomes


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Chapter 1

“I present to you Her Royal Highness Queen Claire Tinkerpuff, long and true may her reign be.” The chancellor said.

At his words the clapping and cheering in the throne room became deafening. Although they had all voted to make me Queen, it had been a decision of the heart and not the brain. I had been well known because of my achievements; Creator of a legendary shrine, finder of a Portal to the Demon Lands, founder of Tinkerpuff Town, first to discover Dark Mountain Dungeon and then the creation of the Catacomb linked to Tinkerpuff Town. All of which had been due to luck and me not knowing any better. Then of course I had help in the form of Scarlet who had won the hearts of everyone. As she had been my pet everyone had associated her with me. I think the gnomes had been more determined to make her a princess than me a Queen. By the noise I knew no one was upset over my decision to remove myself as Queen and make Clair Queen instead. Claire would be a fantastic Queen where as I would have been nothing more than a figurehead.

I was just really glad that I had also been able to adopt Scarlet and make her a princess. I could feel the happiness and excitement oozing out of her. If Scarlet had still been my pet instead of my companion that would not have been possible. The change of her from pet to companion had been the best thing that could have happened. Anyway she had always acted as more than a pet from the beginning, so the change was not so drastic.

I looked over the crowd and saw the Elf that had been so rude to me just before my coronation ceremony. The only reason I noticed him was because he was staring at me. I still wanted to slap his arrogant judgmental face, but luckily for him there were too many people between us and I did not want to spoil the occasion for others. He really had gotten me at a tense moment while I was waiting for the ceremony to begin. His words had been harsh and cruel and just what I had not needed at that moment. I gave him a glare for good measure then continued looking over the crowd. The gnomes had gone all out and everyone was in Steampunk gear. It really was wonderful to see. Not only did the gnomes now have a Kingdom but we had our own style. The Steampunk look was just perfect for our equipment and buildings. It also meant that we would get some unique items that just gnomes could craft as well as some that just gnomes could wear and use.

I still marveled at the glass and metal city the gnomes had built. Tinkerpuff Town really was a marvel and now that it could get its own Steam Airship tower, people could easily move from the Main city to Tinkerpuff town and the Catacomb there. The Catacomb was perfect for the gnomes to be able to level up. The bored AI and Claire had reached a further agreement after I had established the first deal, while the Catacomb had still been a Dungeon. Claire had arranged with the Dungeon AI that no one who died on the first floor (level 1-5) would lose experience. This meant the gnomes would all be able to reach level 5 at least as they gained experience for just killing the easier mobs. Even if they died they could just return to kill the easier mobs, till they reached level 5. If they then went to the lower level and died, they could lose experience. If they lost too much experience and dropped below level 5 they could just regain it on the first floor again. For those that progressed further they could keep going as the Catacomb would continue to grow. The resources the gnomes could get from the Catacomb would also ensure continuous supply of raw materials for our crafters. As we were keeping the gnome Kingdom closed to other races, the growth potential and resources gathered from the Catacombs would be much needed. Having a closed Kingdom meant the gnomes could play in peace and not worry about being trolled and killed by other players again. It also meant we likely would not be very welcome in the lands of the other races.

Not everyone is against gnomes, it is just that those who are, are managing to influence a lot of people. It is still a puzzle who is behind it and how they are doing it. All attempts to trace the source have been met with a dead end. For now though, I was just going to enjoy the fact that the gnomes had done it. We had established our Land, something we had been unable to do for many years. Gnomes were a support race for fighting, none of our classes were strong enough for us to level up individually. Well that was till we struck the deal with the bored AI running the dungeon turned catacomb. Now the majority of the gnomes will be able to level up, maybe slowly and dying lots, but it was much better than not being able to level up at all. It was only sad that we would not be able to play with friends and family in other races, unless we went to their lands. I doubt many would as they know they likely would not be well received.

It was really nice that the AI’s controlling the game allowed gnomes to invite family and friends of other races to be at the coronation. I had invited my sister but had not received a reply from her. I was worried and hoped that all was alright with her and my parents. I would log off the game into my virtual study later to find out what was happening with my family. My parents had been involved in some accident in Germany while at a conference there. My sister had flown there to be with them and find out what had happened. Due to my final exams being close I had to stay behind.

My sister had kindly uploaded all my school work to my virtual space for me. I had also discovered that using my sister’s full submersion pod meant that my virtual space time ran at the same rate as the game’s. This meant every four days for me was only one day in the real world. One could set the time difference higher or lower, but testing had proved that 4:1 was the most comfortable for majority of people.

Jella bumped my arm and I realized that the ceremony had concluded and everyone was moving towards the reception area. Tables laden with drinks and food had been laid out for everyone to celebrate the coronation afterwards. I gave Jella a nod in thanks which she returned. It was weird that I now considered her a friend. Not only that; if she had not injured me in real life, I never would have ended up in the gnome race or likely even been playing. She had broken my leg, making movement very difficult for me leaving the virtual world the most attractive option available to keep me busy.

Smiling I made to follow Jella but was stopped by Scarlet. The spider was flashing colors continuously in her happiness. It seemed when the spider was excited she could not control her camouflage ability.

“You adopted me.” She said to me in my mind. Scarlet could send thoughts to individuals or groups of people. She chose who heard her and who did not.

“Of course I did.” I grinned as Scarlet turned her head and gave me a puzzled look as if she was trying to figure me out. “You said you wanted to be a princess and now you are.”

“But I am also now a Tinkerpuff.” She replied.

I frowned not understanding if she was complaining or asking me a question. “Yes, adoption usually entails a name change. You always behaved like a bratty younger sister, now it is just more official with you in the same family.”

“Sister, I like that.”Scarlet said before scurrying off to go find her friends. She completely ignored the bratty part, but then that was typical Scarlet for you. She decided what she wanted to hear, see and do.

I eagerly made my way to the tables as I was thirsty and hungry. I had been unable to eat or drink much before the ceremony as I had been too nervous. It seemed though that the universe had it in for me, as I was stopped by a tall beautiful Elf woman before I could reach the tables. It seemed she had been more fortunate as she already had a glass of champagne in her hand.

“Stop flirting with my boyfriend!” she demanded loudly of me. Making those around us stop to turn. I saw Jella begin to make her way towards me as well as some guards.

“Err …um... what?” I managed to get out in my usual eloquent manner. My confusion clear in my voice.

“I saw you looking at him and giving him sexy looks during the coronation.” She continued, unperturbed by the growing crowd listening in.

I racked my brains trying to figure out who she could be talking about. I had just about considered that she was just an attention seeker. This was her way to get it, when an outlandish thought hit me.

“You mean that tall rude blonde Elf?” I said in utter disbelief. My description fit majority of the Elf’s in the room, but I did not think of that.

“Yes,” she nodded “I saw him with you before the ceremony and then you making eyes at him during it.”

Well as he had been the only Elf I had seen right before my coronation chances were we were talking about the same person. How she could describe my glare as a sexy look I do not know. Either she needed glasses or I had to seriously work on my glare and intimidation skills. Thinking about it I concluded both were probably right.

“Lady I do not know who you are or what you have been drinking.” I replied, well technically I did but that was beside the point. “Your boyfriend is rude and arrogant and I was glaring at him not flirting.”

“Yeah sure.” She said before throwing the contents of her glass at me. “Just stay away from him.”

I stood there in stunned shock while those around me just stared back at me. I am sure majority of them were wondering if I was trying to steal her boyfriend or not. I had not exactly been great in my own defense. It was just the thought was so unreal I had no words to explain how crazy she was. I simply turned and walked away, it was not worth arguing with her further. Some people just did not want to see sense or reason. She seemed like that type. I walked through the crowd making my way to the door leading to my private quarters. I needed to clean up a bit and needed a minute to gather myself.

Again, I was stopped on my way to my objective, this time by the very aforementioned Elf. “Hi, I just wanted to ...” He started.

“Stay away from me and keep your crazy girlfriend far away from me as well.” I interrupted him all but hissing at him. I was fed up and wanted nothing to do with him.

“I do not have a girlfriend,” was his prompt reply.

I rolled my eyes, typical arrogant jerk, he likely led the poor girl on “Well then you better tell her that.” I said sarcastically to him.

As I finished speaking we reached the door as I had continued to walk while speaking. The people around us had cleared the way, being Queen did have its advantages. I likely would have struggled to reach the door so quickly had I not been. I was reaching to open the door when an announcement stopped me in my tracks once again.

Congratulations on establishing your Kingdom. Now you need to prove that you can protect it. A world event will start in 96 hours where the Kingdom is open for attack. Defending and attacking groups can have a maximum of 1000 players.

If defending you need to sign up with the queen who will have final say on who will be the Kingdom’s defenders.

For attackers; a pillar will be placed 200 m from the city gates, those wishing to attack simple have to touch it.

Defenders and attackers can be from any race

INSERT PICTURE 1 (further info on event)

Everyone just stood in stunned silence and looked at each other. It seemed we were just not going to catch a break. The previous party atmosphere seeped away as the weight of the announcement sunk heavily on the shoulders of every gnome present. I looked around as shocked and silent as everyone else. Just then the room vibrated with a loud rumbling thud. I turned towards the sound and saw the chamberlain standing there with his ceremonial staff, Claire next to him. The sound came from him hitting his staff against the ground.

When all eyes were on Claire she said “Eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we prepare for war.”

That right there showed why Claire was perfect as Queen.

I made my way to my chamber and quickly cleaned up. I was determined to follow my Queen’s direction and soon made my way back to the party. Not returning would have been bad for morale and I would not let anything; arrogant elf males, crazy elf girls or Kingdom changing announcements stop me.

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