There once was a man. An old tinkering gnome who had no child, nor wife of his own.
Mathematics and functions they did fill his mind. Experiments and gizmos took all of his time.
Lonely he was, so he thought to himself, “I will make me a man, a gnome or an elf! He will be out of metal, sprockets and gears. He will be my companion and helper for years.”
He did as he said, and made the dear lad. A round little figure that jostled a tad.
He was good to his creator, and did all he asked. “Grease this; Carry that,” the clockwork was tasked.
No grudge did he carry, for he had no emotions. This was a man of springs, cogs, and some potions.
But one day he spotted with his little receptor, a mad little gnome make the rudest of gesture.
“What drives such a man to shout and to flail?” he asked his master upon recounting the tale.
“Anger is a feeling, like joy, sorrow or passion. They are good in degrees, but bad in substation. They can make a sane man crazy with time, but make life worth living with every clock chime.”
“I lack these emotions. I am not complete,” the metal lad thought, as if on repeat.
To the merchant he went rather lickety-split. “I’m to purchase emotions, Mister Crandle Z. Flint.”
The merchant just laughed, and set the boy right. “You can’t buy emotions. Now have a good night.”
“But what could I do if I wanted a set?” “You could pray to the gods, and see what you get.”
He did as directed. He asked all he could for the full set of feelings – the bad and the good.
He prayed upon Brell. He prayed upon ‘Bane. Tunare, even Marr, they answered the same.
Metal he stayed. All wheel and spindle. A bucket of bolts. No emotion to kindle.
“Gods of the men made of flesh and the bone, cannot comprehend needs of metal and chrome,” the clockwork decided while deep in his thought. “There must be another. Another not taught.”
Men may have called it a crisis of faith, had he a sould to be sucked by a wraith.
He was just looking for parts that he lacked. He wanted to be full, complete and exact.
This would go on as he did all his work. There was not a time that a chore he did shirk.
Then came the dark day coming back from a trek, his master’s nice house was aflame and a wreck.
Around the debris stood gnomes stricken with fears. Some moaning, some shrieking, all covered in tears.
He gave it no thought. He gave it no pause. He ran in determined. He ran in with cause!
There was his dear maker slumped under a chair. With a lift and a hoist, he took every care to deliver his master away from the flame while men of emotion felt sorry and shame.
They had been too afraid to act as he had, to run into danger that was sure to be bad.
That’s when it struck him, a bolt to the head. Maybe these feelings aren’t as good as all said.
“Listen inside you,” goes an old gnomish saying, “When questions and figures are heavy and weighing, with cosigns and fractions your head it does spin. You’ll find that the answers, they come from within.”
“I need no emotion. My mind I can settle. I am, what I am. A man out of metal. Within me are gears. They roll and they turn. They drive me they do, as they twist and they churn. Feelings for men, and metal for me. I am then complete, and as whole as can be!”
He finally felt peace with this grand little notion, perhaps even happy, if he had such emotion!