From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Personality and RP Notes
Rustie is somewhat shy - she's lived much of her life as an outcast and has survived this long but keeping her head down and trying to draw as little attention to herself as possible. When talking to people she doesn't know, she can often come accross as surly and sarcastic.
She drinks a fair amount - as an ex-sailor its to be expected. She's aquired a taste for Dwarven Ale - its her drink of choice, but anything will do in a pinch. She could probibly be considered an alcoholic.
Rustie has a bad habit of "spacing out" during long conversations. Sometimes she's only distracted by a new idea for an invention that she needs to jot down right away, but often its due to the vivid war flashbacks she still gets from time to time. Her brief stint as a sapper still haunts her memories - she also saw much of the Battle of Mount Hyjal from the sky, and often has nightmares about the horrors she witnessed that day.
Due to the Burning Legion's invasion of her homeworld, Rustie has an extreme dislike of demons and the undead. Despite what others tell her, she doesn't believe any of them are "good" or "nice" - to her, the charming ones are just more apt at hunting the living (and thus, more dangerous).
In a bizarre turn of events, Rustie has engaged in a romantic relationship with her friend Nuurzhaen, a 400 lb, invulnerable, winged, 3200 year-old alien.
Although she's only been an Paragon Earth less than 5 years, she has adapted to the culture remarkably well. This is partly due to her goblin nature (on her world they tend to be everywhere and trade with everyone), and partly because she attends school and has surrounded herself with teenagers. Also, she has three televisions in her workshop/bedroom that often play simultaneously as she tinkers with her inventions.
If she had a theme song, it would probibly be "Everything You're Missing" by Ginger.
Like many goblins of her homeworld, Rustie is a skilled engineer - specializing in steam and clockwork powered contaptions.
From her many years of military service she is also experienced with knife-fighting, firearms and explosives. Her ability to anticipate and survive an explosion borders on super-human.
Rustie had a brief friendship with a demon-hunting priest she met in Pocket D (untill he mysteriously disappeared). From him, she learned several tricks at how to spot undead and demons when they are mimicing humans.
She's actually a decent pickpocket and lock-picker, but hasn't practiced these skills much since she arrived in Paragon - it seems many people in this world have the notion that all goblins are thieves, and she wants to prove them wrong.
Rustie's agility and inate understanding of machinery makes her a naturally gifted pilot.
EquipmentHer most successful invention is undoubtedly "Smokey Joe" - a massive steam and clockwork powered battlesuit that she often pilots into battle. Its coal-fired power plant gets incredibly hot and often sprays jets of steam in random directions, enraging her opponents. Its arms are also powerful enough to swing her giant silver Ogre Hammer - Rustie believes the weapon is magical, but hasn’t been able to prove it one way or the other. While the hammer provides the bulk of the suit's offensive capabilities, Rustie has also installed a dual laser cannon inside the head and a hidden flame-thrower in the chest. Unfortunatley, the flame-thrower is prone to malfunctions and often instead of "throwing" fire, it just tends to pool flaming accelerant around the mech's feet.
Since her mecha is so convoluted and volatile, it needs frequent upgrades and repairs and is often just not usable. During these times she made due with a set of heavily modified pistols and a set of robotic sleeves that increased her strength and steadied her arms, making her a better shot. Rustie felt very exposed fighting with only the sleeves to protect her, so she recently completed a new set of armor to go along with them. This back-up armor is a lot smaller and less sturdy than her main mecha, but it can do one thing Smokey Joe never could because of its bulk - fly. Because of the suit's large and combersome wings, she's dubbed it "Flappy McGee". The sleeves and armor are powered by a set of crystals given to her by a dimensional traveller she met in Pocket D.
Rustie has built several crude robots during her time in Paragon - the most successful of whom is Prom-Bot 2000 who acts as her assistant and guards her workshop when she's not around.
She has collected several magic items over the years, the most impressive being a "portable hole" which allows her to carry insane amounts of equpment in her pockets - including her battlesuit.
Rustie can usually be spotted wearing a matching ring and bracelet, both with a mechanical motif of nuts, bolts and gears. They are minor magical charms crafted for her by her good friend Jonny Bard. The ring helps to guide her direction when she's lost, and the bracelet alerts her when someone or something is trying to influence her mind (although it offers no protection against such an intrusion). She has also begun to wear another ring (also crafted by Jonny) made from fine woven metals and set with a simple red stone. The ring serves as a symbol of her commitment to Nuurzhaen and helps the two magically identify each other - as Rustie has recently become somewhat paranoid about shapeshifters.
Rustie hails from the city of Undermine, the Goblin capitol in the world of Azeroth.
She was born into the small but wealthy Steambucket Clan. Her grandfather, Shlomi was an apt engineer and marketing genius who made his fortune inventing and selling The Steambucket - a type of convoluted pressure-cooker that became very popular in goblin kitchens everywhere. He died tragically in an explosion while working on The Steambucket mk.2, but his surviving family took on the name Clan Steambucket to honor his memory.
Rustie's father, Gutwaddle, pursued a career in the field of Alchemy - inventing and brewing various potions, salves, and ointments. After hitting middle age he became obsessed with finding a formula for a potion that would extend a goblin's lifespan. He spent many years in research and conducted countless clinical trials. As he got closer to a solution his team got larger - he brought in not only other alchemists, but also several wizards and demonoligists to work closely with him.
What happened next is not exactly clear. Even Rustie herself doesn't know for sure, as her father would never discuss it - especially not with her. She has heard rumours over the years and has been able to piece together this much. Gutwaddle's research sought to somehow capture and recreate the long lifespan of an elf, and bestow it upon a goblin. Apparently one step in this process required him to fuse a portion of his essence with that of an elf. Unexpectedly, the end result did not produce a usable potion, but somehow created a new life in the form of a child.
When Gutwaddle beheld the new life before him, he knew he had gone too far. Instead of making the lives of goblins longer, his efforts and only created something that was no longer fully goblin. He ceased the project immediately and destroyed everything connected to it. He fully intended to dispose of the child as well, and was urged by the proper authorities to do just that. However, when the time came he could not bear to do it. Although she was created unnaturally - she was still made from his essence. His own daughter. Despite the protests of his family and his peers, he brought the girl into his home to raise her as any of his other children. She was named Rustie, as she was the only one in the family to be born with red hair.
Despite her controversial beginnings, her father ensured Rustie had a fairly happy upbringing. He used his influence to shelter her from the fact that much of Undermine (including most of her own family) was annoyed at her very existence. She was noticeably different from most goblins - taller, with a lighter frame more in common with the fairer races, rather than the stubby legs and long gnarly arms of a true goblin. Also her nose and ears , while quite long by human standards, were pitifully small for a goblin. Also her eyes lacked pupils, much like the elves of her world. Gutwaddle personally saw to his daughter's education, tutoring her in the basics of alchemy - although much like her grandfather, mechanical engineering was where she really excelled.
Many years later, Gutwaddle died in a lab accident much like his father before him. In his will he had set aside a sizeable inheritance for Rustie, but it was not to be. Her eldest brother, Grubnubbin, challenged the will - he stated that Rustie was not meant to collect any portion of the inheritance until she reached adulthood. And although by goblin standards she should have been well into adulthood, it was clear that she was not aging normally at all. She had looked exactly the same now for many years. A judge (bribed by Grubnubbin) ruled that since she was so unique, it was impossible to tell if and when she'd ever reach true adulthood. Her brother was to act as her guardian and hold her portion of the inheritance in trust. Of course, within a month he made her life so miserable she had little choice but to leave home penniless and live on the streets.
For more than a decade she scraped out a meager existence in the gutters and alleys of Undermine. Due to her strange appearance and her brother using his influence to blacklist her, she had very few opportunities at real employment. She desperately wanted to leave the city, but could not afford passage on any ship and none would take her on as part of a crew. She spent over a decade like this - scavenging for food or taking odd jobs doing menial labour whenever the opportunity presented itself. It was during these years that Orcs arrived on Azeroth and they waged their first war against the humans.
Tides of Darkness
At the dawn of the second great war, one of the ruling goblin Trade Princes decided to throw his lot in with the Horde and join them in their campaign against the Alliance. When the recruitment drive hit the streets of Undermine, Rustie was among the first to sign up. She had no hatred of humans, but saw this as a way to finally leave her past behind her. She was sure that because of her engineering background she would be placed on a zeppelin crew or a repair team. She was wrong. She was deemed fit only for sapper duty.
Being assigned to a goblin sapper team was tantamount to a death sentence. They were recruited from the dregs of goblin society - mainly criminals, the desperately poor and the mentally unsound. They were promised good pay for their services, knowing that very few would ever survive long enough to collect their salary. They were very poorly trained and barely armed, strapped with volatile explosives and sent onto battlefields to destroy key targets - bridges, fortifications, dense foliage or even enemy units. Of course, this generally meant the sapper was also killed in the resulting explosion.
On Rustie’s first assignment as a sapper, her small squad was charged with destroying a bridge behind enemy lines. The other members of her team were killed off by their own zeal and incompetence far before reaching their target. Rustie, now alone in alliance territory, decided stealth was a far better option than running screaming towards a superior enemy. Also, her training in the ways of alchemy gave her some understanding of how explosives worked and the best ways to handle them. She quietly made her way to the bridge, carefully set her charges, detonated them, and made her way back to her base camp in one piece.
Of the one hundred twenty sappers that joined the Horde the same week as Rustie, only 7 made it back from their first assignments. Those survivors were placed together on a new sapper squad, and the Septic Seven were formed.
The Septic Seven
The so called Septic Seven (so named because they were "handed all the Horde's shit work") were all like-minded sapper survivors who brought skill and experience to the job. Where most sappers acted like howling zealots on the battlefield, the Septic Men operated more like special forces commandoes - slipping stealthily though enemy lines and setting their charges. They mostly sought to evade enemy forces, only attacking by ambush and or when they had a distinct advantage. They eschewed the tiny swords they were issued in favour of weapons of their own design, such as crossbows with explosive bolts and clockwork buzz saws. Rustie herself often fielded a crude flamethrower.
They soon became somewhat famous throughout the Horde - revered by other goblins and grudgingly respected by their larger Orcish allies (openly disrespectful orcish grunts often met with messy freak accidents). For the first time in decades Rustie felt empowered. She carried on with these duties until a chance meeting with Snizzlefit, Captain of the airship Warduck.
Captain Snizzlefit was a very superstitious goblin. He desperately wanted to live through the war, and he thought one way to accomplish this was by surrounding himself with the luckiest crew he could find. When he met Rustie and learned she had survived over six months as a sapper, he decided she must be exceptionally lucky and had her and some of her squad transferred to his crew immediately.
Rustie served abord the Warduck for the rest of the war - it was mainly used as a scouting vessel and for transporting VIPs. It was very lightly armed but quite fast, and survived mainly by outrunning any danger that presented itself.
When the war ended and the goblin forces seceded from the Horde, the Warduck became a mercenary vessel and began to operate independently for whoever happened to hire it. Rustie enjoyed the work and stayed on with the ship for many years, right through the third great war against the Burning Legion.
After the third war, Capt. Snizzlefit finally retired from active duty. The Warduck , now quite old and somewhat obsolete, was purchased by a shipping company to make regular runs to the now-undead capitol of Lorderon. Rustie was offered a job to stay on with the ship but she declined. The thought of always flying the same set route seemed tedious to her, and she absolutely could not stand the thought of having regular contact with (and taking her shore leave amongst) the undead.
Down and Out Again
After leaving the Warduck, Rustie wandered aimlessly from city to city, trying to find another niche to fit into. Although she made a good amount of money over the decades, she was terrible with her finances and had little to show for it - especially after a comely elven grifter walked off with the bulk of her life savings. She found work here and there, fixing equipment and doing odd jobs. She eventually found her way to the Shimmering Flats, where teams of goblins and gnomes designed and built rocket powered cars and raced them against each other at the Mirage Raceway. Rustie got a job on a goblin pit crew, eventually becoming one of the drivers (her light frame made her a logical choice). She did well at this job, until she was labelled a traitor and fired for having an inappropriate relationship with a girl on the gnome’s racing team.
Her reputation once again ruined, she made her way to the desert city of Gadgetzan. She found work in the repair shop of a particularly nasty and dour gnome called Cogstrom. Rustie and Cogstrom absolutely hated each other, but she continued to work for him as nobody else in town would hire her, and nobody else was desperate enough to work for him.
She continued this miserable existence until the day her boss’ friend Bombadom rode into town. He was a gnomish wizard who specialized in spatial and trans-dimensional magics. While Cogstrom and his friend went out to get drunk and catch up, they left Rustie to service his mechanical riding bird. While working on the machine, Rustie snooped through the saddle bags and found something interesting. When rolled up it seemed to be a piece of dark cloth, but when open it became a portal into a tiny dimension - about a 10’ cube. The area inside contained some furniture and day-to-day items, a giant silver hammer (covered in runes and obviously of ogre-mage design), and a small chest containing all the wizard’s gold and jewellery.
This was too much for poor Rustie to even think about passing up. She gathered up most of the tools she could find from the shop, tossed them in the portable hole, rolled it up, and ran like hell! The two irate gnomes caught up with her on the outskirts of town, trying to hitch a ride with an outgoing caravan. Bombadom attempted to capture Rustie in one of his trademark spells - essentially it traps the target, temporarily holding him helpless in a tiny spatial prison. Unfortunately the wizard had not anticipated the effects of having a tiny pocket dimension (the portable hole in Rustie’s possession) being held in an even tinier pocket dimension (the prison spell). Basically, the spell could not hold its contents and they were all expelled into another random dimension. This is how Rustie came to wind up in Paragon City.
Rustie spent her first month in Paragon much the way she spent her time in Undermine - living on the streets and keeping her head down and trying to keep out of trouble. Eventually she was picked up by authorities believing her to be a runaway street kid. After a lengthy immigration process, customs deemed her harmless and set her up with an apartment and ESL classes. She was amazed by the technology of this new planet, and spent lots of time fiddling with whatever devices she could scavenge.
Wanting to learn more about Earth, she decided to get a proper education. She opted to enroll in Nukem High - an all girls private school specializing in super-powered students. Although by this time she was almost 60 years old, she was admitted due to her youthful appearance and because she fit the strict size requirements. She fit well into her new surroundings and spends much of her time in the Nukem workshop, building all manner of contraptions.
Rustie is featured as the contact in two AE missions. Rustie’s Rodent Round-up (104406) and Nukem Revolution! (76048).