Character Full Name: Ezda Sunderbolt
Character In-Game Name: Ezda
Nickname: She’ll answer to Ez or Ezzie.
Associations: Freelance, though her services are never free of charge.
Skills and Abilities: Ezda is a proficient engineer, capable of assembling, dismantling, identifying and operating a variety of contraptions. She has a knack for breaking them as well, sometimes inadvertently. Penetrating, disrupting, shutting down, and destroying mechanical constructs are other notable skills in her repertoire.
She can also repair damage, provided that she has the required equipment and components on hand. Either through intuition or a specialised gadget, she can identify the purpose of a given piece of technology pretty accurately.
As far as Ezda’s class abilities go, most translate mechanically in one way or another. Her traps are engineered devices, and a spin-pistol would feel more comfortable in her hand than a bow, for instance. She is good at tracking down individuals in densely-populated areas such as cities, too. A combination of contacts and uncanny instincts can sometimes pay off.
Hair: Fair, and wound into a trio of top knots.
Eyes: When her goggles aren’t obscuring them, brown.
Weight: 76 lbs
Typical Armour: Light, mobile and form-fitting gear is the sort Ezda prefers. For excursions to the wilderness, she usually dons augmented leather. Oil-stained overalls suffice for home tinkering and plotting her next move.
Other: It isn’t unusual to see her sporting numerous gadgets, some clipped to her belt, others strapped to her back, and more still attached to her in assorted ways. Several of them have the distinctive appearance of explosives, but it would be hard to imagine what others are used for.
She has a lucky pendant that features a plain-looking stone. What’s lucky about it is anyone’s guess.
As a proponent of sustainable business, Ezda strives to act as a force of balance, maintaining equilibrium between technology and nature. She recognises that her position is biased towards the former, but also that if technology were to progress and spread too quickly, it would choke Azeroth like a weed. Altruism doesn’t pay well, though. Sometimes, an offer can simply be too good to refuse. Still, she does her part for the world, and that’s more than most goblins can say.
Moolah, and the acquisition thereof drives her, but her proclivity towards machinery is a genuine interest. Never is she happier than when she is tinkering, even if she’s savagely wrecking the device she’s working on. A planner and a plotter, her mind is always whirring at full spin, and she’s ever on the lookout for lucrative opportunities. She’s not above lying, cheating, and stealing, but prefers to engineer her victories through skill and cunning—unless something important is at stake. If her neck’s on the block, all bets are off!
Having worked for both the Alliance and the Horde, she has had close contact with a number of other races. Nearly all of them struck some chord of intrigue with her, save for the tauren, whose mistrust of technology—and Ezda, by extension—was answered in kind. She finds gnomes a resourceful, ingenious people, and delights in their sometimes less-than-friendly competition. Dwarven craftsmanship impresses her, as Goblin creations are pretty ugly, admittedly. The wonders weaved by the elves are more impressive still, but a bit too flashy for her tastes. Ezda made a note to look into crystal solutions after encountering and speaking with Draenei engineers, and although she probably wouldn’t admit it, she’s a little envious of their advancements.
Ezda’s life began on the isle of Kezan. Although the goblins razed the tropical jungle that once flourished there, an urban one had sprung up in its place, and the youngster spent her youth exploring it and getting to know the people she shared it with. Blessed with the quick cunning her people are renowned for, she learnt to dodge the dangers that came her way and navigate a treacherous social structure.
She acquired a fascination for engineering early on, spending hours taking machines apart, breaking them down to their constituent pieces and divining precisely what made them tick. When she knew, she put them back together again, often retrofitting them for alternative purposes. If she needed money, she sold spare parts—for exorbitant prices, naturally—and performed repairs, gaining much experience in the field of technology in the process.
This hobby-come-career was subconsciously transposed to her social interactions, and she began to apply her appraisal skills to the people she dealt with. She didn’t know goblins half as well as she knew their technology, but she knew what most of them wanted. They were competitors who played to win, and they weren’t opposed to playing dirty. Ezda’s work was profitable, but she realised that she could offer her customers an even more valuable service.
Her early operations were covert and small-scale. Lesser entrepreneurs would contract her to subvert competitors by disrupting their work, sabotaging their machinery, and causing their inventions to fail in catastrophic and occasionally explosive ways at the worst possible moments. Imagine if the fruit of one’s career, the sum of all his life’s work, simply sputtered out a feeble, metallic ‘cough’ during a presentation that his livelihood depended upon the success of! Disaster, shame, ruination!
Most folks would sooner turn over a plump pouch of coin now than watch their businesses shrink under the radiance of a rival a few months down the line, or so her sales pitch went, thus it was good money. It was occasionally a little heart-tugging, though. To lose your life is one thing. To lose everything but is another entirely, and perhaps crueller. Ezda found consolation by remembering that survival of the fittest is as much a rule of nature as it is a rule of business. It was the goblin way, besides. She made the odd enemy, but those are stories for other times.
She found more work still in the Third War, which took her from her isle of origin and thrust her into the midst of brutal conflict. It added a layer of risk and excitement, which she loved, and she could charge at thrice her usual rate, which she loved even more. It also exposed her to Azeroth’s wildly varied inhabitants.
Out in the world, she bore witness to the effect that technology had on the environment. To call attention to Ezda’s race and past experiences, it goes without saying that she didn’t lose any sleep over a few felled trees. The environment and those who inhabit it are intrinsically connected however, and realising that, she became deeply troubled by what she saw.
Forests were levelled in a matter of weeks by machines she had helped to construct, and she watched communities wither and die in the absence of the nurturing shelter they provided. It occurred to her that you can’t overcharge naïve natives if they’re corpses. The company that owned the machines was supplying an overwhelming demand for lumber, and they had the same effect on wooded areas that swarming locusts do on a harvest. It was unsustainable, and predictably, when there no more wood, the cash flow halted and the company went broke.
‘Broke’. It’s a word that strikes fear into goblin hearts. Made redundant, Ezda was stranded in the foreign continent of Kalimdor without a copper to her name. Her growling stomach didn’t leave her pondering for long what her next course of action should be. The rural wilderness and the urban one have their parallels, fortunately. Through trial and error, and the help of an unexpected friend or two, she figured out how to live off the land, taking from it no more than what she needed to survive. She began salvaging bits of scrap metal from the skeletons of abandoned shredders, creating tools and weapons to assist in her survival. From her exposure to other races during the height of the war, she drew inspiration to develop and train herself in the use of their varied armaments, and the wilds were never short of ways to try and test her abilities.
Life continued like that for a time, but Ezda craved civilisation and coin, and it wasn’t long before she went on the hunt for both. She sought out employers, and obtained some rather unorthodox contractors. Shaman paid her to help pacify enraged elemental spirits by disrupting machinery that had infuriated them. Druids would grudgingly part with their coin for assurance that encroaching deforesters would find their steamsaws panting for breath. Her own kind unwittingly hired her to repair the damage that she herself had done! It was a grand sham, all in all.
Her techslaying career commenced thusly. Ezda couldn’t maintain surface neutrality when the Bilgewater Cartel aligned itself with the Horde, but as long as her assignments don’t hinder her faction’s military advancement, she is free to accept work from anyone with the coin and inclination. In a world newly shattered by the cataclysm, she works to preserve a balance between technological advancement and the preservation of the natural world.