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Leper gnomes are a diseased, twisted, violent and mutated race of gnomes who wander through the irradiated halls of Gnomeregan. Their minds left crazed by the irradiation of their city, the leper gnomes will attack any who dare enter their city, believing them to be trogg invaders.
When Gnomeregan was invaded by a horde of troggs unearthed from the Uldaman excavation, High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque ordered the opening the pressure valves of their giant, grinding machines and released toxic radiation (via an exploded radiation bomb) throughout the city. Many more gnomes were killed than troggs when Gnomeregan was flooded with radiation. Forced to flee to the safety of the dwarven capital of Ironforge, Mekkatorque had to deal with the guilt of his actions that day, actions brought on by his chief advisor's lust for power.
Even worse, though, many gnomes still within Gnomeregan's halls became horribly mutated and insane, changing into what are now known as leper gnomes. Leper gnomes vaguely resemble normal gnomes. Emaciated and sickly, their skin is bloated and green with gangrene, while their eyes glow with a color and light similar to that of the radioactive pools in their once beautiful city. Even worse than their physical mutation, though, is the perverse madness caused by the poisoning that twisted their bodies. While individuals among them may seem saner than others, all are irrevocably twisted. Leper gnomes claim Gnomeregan as their own, and, led by Mekgineer Thermaplugg, defend its halls with horrible constructs and their own prowess.
They continue their battle against the troggs, who are more dangerous now due to the radioactive goo that clings to their rock-like skin. Perhaps the worst enemies in their minds, are true gnomes, whom they blame for their current existence. They regard High Tinker Mekkatorque as a demon, and his followers not much better. They regard all other creatures as intruders and quickly put them down. Recently, however, some adventurers have seen leper gnomes in company with Dark Iron dwarves. Many theorize that Thermaplugg is attempting an alliance between the two underground races, in an attempt to strengthen his own forces and finally defeat the troggs.
Other than within Sicco's jurisdiction, a number of leper gnomes have since sworn fealty to Lady Sylvanas Windrunner and officially joined the Forsaken. The level of trust they receive from Undercity's upper echelons is dubious, though it appears that having "bent the knee" to the Dark Lady has made them "one of us" in the literal sense at least. It is suggested that their "plagued" status has also earned them some form of sympathy from the Forsaken, themselves "plagued" in an equally obvious (yet inherently different) manner.
Most of the Forsaken leper gnomes seem to be part of the Royal Apothecary Society; at least, on an assistant or secretarial level. They have not been seen to hold much authority.
Leper gnomes vaguely resemble normal gnomes. Emaciated and sickly, their skin is bloated and green with gangrene, while their eyes glow with a color and light similar to that of the radioactive pools in their once beautiful city. Even worse than their physical mutation, though, is the perverse madness caused by the poisoning that twisted their bodies.
Both Razzle Sprysprocket and Ozzie Togglevolt are trying to find a cure for leper gnomes, and if they manage to do so then gnomes will have both their capital back and the recently cured leper gnomes.
Leper gnomes speak Gnomish and Common. Leper gnomes learn the languages of the creatures with which they live and compete.
Leper gnomes are found almost exclusively in Gnomeregan, the doomed capital of the gnomes. There are also many leper gnomes at the Steamvault in Coilfang Reservoir allied to Illidan and his naga. There is an apparent leper gnome named Ganoosh in the Undercity, another named Haggle sifting through the trash in the Deeprun Tram and several leper gnome laborers in the cellar of a blood elf clothier guarded by a succubus in Silvermoon City. Leper gnomes can now be found in mass on the eastern shores of Uldum, not through disease or radiation, these gnomes succumbed to an ancient curse that robbed them of their sanity.