Some things in Norrath were considered to be pretty universal: Halflings tended to really love food, dwarves inhaled ale at almost every opportunity, erudites were very intellectual, and gnomes were dangerous. Mind you, they weren't dangerous in the same way an angry ogress was dangerous, but things tended to explode around them ... a LOT.
When a gnome started fiddling with gizmos and gadgets, he or she tended to forget about that niggly detail called "safety." It made their neighbors understandably nervous, especially when the gnomes started throwing an annual Tinkerfest celebration in celebration of all things gnomish.
That's where Niami Denmother ("Mum") came in. Even the gnomes conceded that safety checks before the new inventions were introduced to the public was a Good Thing and Mum was the most acceptable compromise with regards to a safety instructor that everyone could agree upon. Her lively sense of curiousity and mischief made her a hit with the gnomes, while her strong awareness of safety even while pranking made her acceptable even to the snooty high elves.
Mum considered it to be a win all around. The gnomes got to have their festival, the rest of the populace rested assured that the gnomes weren't about to blow up a moon or something silly like that, and Mum got to get her greedy little halfling hands on some of the new offerings before the rest of the public saw them ... and blow up clockworks (under controlled conditions, of course).
The inactive gears and cogs and such only received a cursory inspection, but anything that clicked, whirred, zapped or in any way moved received a very careful going-over.
"Och. These lightning screws are pretty, but what happens if ye stand tae close and get zapped?"
She could tell that the earnest young gnome had made an extra effort with his appearance before presenting his new inventions to her - His clothes were clean and pressed and he'd made at least a small attempt at smoothing his hair down. All that was ruined though, as he reached a hand out as he hastened to reassure her. "The voltage running through these is minmal. Perfectly sa- "
Once the smoke cleared, the soot-covered gnome turned to her, his hair sticking out in every direction. "I'll just l-l-lower th-the v-v-voltage a b-b-b-bit, sh-sh-shall I?"
"Guid idea, lad. Mayhaps ye could adjust them tae be a menace tae bugs an' such withoot fryin' housepets, small children an' the like, eh?"
She actually couldn't find much to concern her with the engines ... much. That didn't stop her from keeping a wary eye on them as she continued her rounds, but they didn't seem ready to explode. Yet.
The tinkered portals were another story. She was strangely fascinated by the flow of cogs and gears, and could picture herself becoming quite mesmerized by them. There was just one problem....
"Wha' happens if someone touches th' stream?"
No sooner had she asked this when a passing gnome dropped a gizmo that he'd been carrying, just as he passed by one of the floor mounted portals. As he flailed trying to catch it before it hit the floor, his wrist intersected with the portal stream.
Mum watched in horrified fascination as a severed hand began flowing between the two portal points. She idly pondered the too-coincidental timing as she heard someone yell, "CLERIC!"
She really had to have another talk with Bristlebane one of these days about the timing of these supposed accidents.
Meanwhile, these portals were so pretty that she hated to call a halt to their release, so she listened with interest as several gnomes began a heated discussion on how to make it a bit safer for the general public. When they finally reached the shouting stage due to more and more elaborate (and prone to catastrophic failure) solutions, she called a halt to it.
"I may ha'e a possible solution frae ye."
Dead silence. One of those thick, heavy silences that you could probably not cut with a magically-edged two-handed sword.
After all, what could a halfling, no matter how creative and skilled, truly know about the more esoteric intricacies of gnomish engineering?
While they were still stunned into silence, she continued calmly. "I helped tae build a force projection screen tae protect th' Scarstone encampment in Cobalt Scar a while back. Th' biggest issue was power, but that was mainly due tae th' large area tae be protected. Nae only can ye use whate'er energy source ye are using frae th' portal, but ye'd only need tae protect from accidental collision wi' th' stream, nae concerted magic attacks like they are dealing wi' up there. I'm sure in th' couple o' weeks ye hae before this goes public, ye can miniaturize an'refine th' screen."
The racket began anew, this time with more excitement and less anger. Her job done, for the moment, she decided to reward herself by heading out to help blow up more erratic clockworks. She hadn't gotten very far before she noticed a shifty-looking gnome fidgeting with an odd-looking glass and metal cask.
Gnomes. Plus alcohol. Did anyone other than her have serious misgivings about that combination?
Since she had a much sturdier constitution than most gnomes, it was best that she check it out. Purely in the name of a safety check, mind you!
Hoooooooooeeeeeeee! That was some strong stuff!
The next thing she knew, she was in some gnomish cave, talking to a ghostly gnome.
He greeted her like a long-lost friend, and told her that it'd been a long time since she'd dreamed of him. Mind you, she couldn't remember any dreams with gnomes in them, except that one nightmare a couple years back, but she didn't always remember her dreams. Ah well. No sense fretting it. She'd had weirder dreams, after all, so she'd just let this one play out while waiting for whatever was in that hellacious drink to work it's way out of her system.
One thing was certain, she wasn't going to let that Termald fella serve that swill to unsuspecting Tinkerfest visitors!
She went scampering about dealing with dream versions of adventurers to obtain the various pieces needed to repair a broken clockwork. She'd far rather be dreaming of pie, or exploding clockworks or the like, but she couldn't seem to encourage her dream-self to leave and find such things.
She felt more than a bit bruised and battered by the time she finally obtained the final piece and returned to the dream figment.
A few minutes later, she was viewing the results of the repair job with some dismay. Great. Now she was dreaming of oversized clockworks! Really, couldn't she just dream of pie? Or chocolate?
Then the apparently possessed clockwork started cackling about some evil plans, she'd had enough. She needed to wake up. NOW!
She did wake up, but her unease grew as she spoke with the concerned gnomes. None of them had any knowledge of that Termald fellow who'd fed her the drink, and she'd been found passed out, alone, next to that mysterious keg.
Ah well, no harm done. Right?
You'll want to do this new quest for yourself to find out what "evil plans" were foreshadowed in the story (and in the quest), and I am sure lore junkies will have a field day trying to figure out what this means for some future happenings in EQ2.
Tinkerfest will run from July 17, 2015 at 12:01 AM PDT time until August 3, 2015 at 11:59 PM PDT. There are new items to craft and to purchase, a new quest to complete, two new titles to earn, and a new reward for a returning quest.
Myron in Gnomeland Security sells Tinkerfest Blueprints 7.0 for 10 Shiny Tinkerfest Cogs. This recipe book contains 21 recipes, and requires a tinkering skil of 25 in order to scribe the recipes. (Don't forget that the Adorning Daily NPCs in the various city crafting societies now offer a Tinkering Daily quest if you need to get your skill up to 25.) Myron also sells the new crafted items as well as some new purchase-only house items. (Tarly sells the recipes from previous years as well as buyables from past years.)
|Azure Lightning Screw*
||Crimson Lightning Screw*
||Golden Lightning Screw*
|Major Lock Gear
||Medium Carbonite Gear (Inactive)
|Paddle Fan Gear
||Riveted Metal Barrel
||Elaborate Rhodium Cog (Inactive)
|Tinkered Digger Engine
||Tinkered Engine (Small)*
||Tinkered Landing Pipes
|Tinkered Raft Engine*
||Tinkered Star Plate
Iron-Banded Leather Appearance Set: Iron-Banded Leather Boots, Iron-Banded Leather Bracers, Iron-Banded Leather Gloves, Iron-Banded Leather Greaves, Iron-Banded Leather Helm, Iron-Banded Leather Rainment, Iron-Banded Leather Sleeves.
Again, these items are sold on Myron in Gnomeland Security. They will cost varying numbers of Shiny Tinkerfest Cogs.
|Crushing Gear (Active)*
|Large Pump Gear (Active)*
|Clockwork Lobber Beetle
Clockwork Grappler Beetle
|Spinning Whirlygig (Active)*
|The Cog Blocker
(Heirloom appearance shield)
(fires off confetti fireworks)
In addition to the above, he sells Tinkerfest Blueprints 7.0 for 10 cogs, and two 5-charge dumbfire pets. These two, Celebratory Turkey Tosser and Clockwork Cowapult, are pretty much the same items as two that tinkerers can already make (Tinkered Turkey Launcher and Clockwork Cow Catapult), except that they use separate timers. This will allow you to use both the tinkered version and the purchased version in rapid succession, if you have a need for such things. Both of the dumbfire pets are 20 Shiny Tinkerfest Cogs each.
There were some requests for sizing comparisons for the buyable tinkered portals. Pictured below are the max shrink, default and max enlarge for the Floor Mounted Tinkered Portals. The Ceiling Mounted versions "should" size similarly. Character pictured is a tall high elf.
Be sure that you have learned the gnomish language before you head to Gnomeland Security for questing. In addition, if you have not already learned tinkering, you may wish to find a tinkering trainer and learn the skill before you begin to quest. This will allow you to obtain tinkering skillups from a couple of the quests.
Tinker Thermald in Gnomeland Security (you'll find him in the building that has the mender in front of it) has a quest for you. You'd think by now you'd have learned not to drink anything that a gnome offers you, but if you decide to imbibe, you'll be offered the "We Can Rebuild" quest. Reward is Cask Strength Gnomish Spirits. Note that if you wish to see the bubble effect in the preview window, you have to enlarge the item so that you cannot see the entire item in the preview window. (This is a common issue with things with a glass texture to them.) And no, there is no right-click effect on the cask when it is placed in your home.
In addition, the "Foray Into Ulterior Mechanica" quest has a new reward option this year - "Contrapticus Master Console." The dressing room preview currently makes the item look rather plain, but once it is placed, you not only get to see the 4 moving gears and the lightning rods, but you will also find that it has some effects you can trigger. These effects are: Big Boom, Electric Shock and Idle Console.
|Contrapticus Master Console (on default and reset mode)
||Partway through the Big Boom
There will be a new prefix title awarded when you have completed 50 repetitions of the "Great Balls of Fire" quest. You must buy this title from the Tinkerfest merchant, Myron, once you have unlocked it. It will cost 1 shiny Tinkerfest cog. The prefix title is "Watchman"
There is also a new prefix title awarded for 5 repetitions of "If They Only Had a Brain." This quest is only repeatable once per year, and this is the 5th year it has been offered, so you will only be able to obtain the title this year if your character has completed the quest every year that it has been offered. You must buy this title from the Tinkerfest merchant, Myron, once you have unlocked it. It will cost 1 shiny Tinkerfest cog. The prefix title is "Brainiac"