Baroness Scrabblerix in front of her prized mechanical whelping, Lil' Firebreath.
Baroness Jexla Scrabblerix of the Sparkcog Cartel was a goblin engineer and the former ruler of Westcog Harbor on Kezan. Despite her relatively young age of thirty-five, she demonstrated an extreme financial competence and ruler ship that reflected—if not emulated—her late parents and former rulers of the same city.
Birth & ChildhoodEdit
Jexla Scrabblerix was born in Westcog Harbor to wealthy parents several years following Trade War II's conclusion. Photographs of her early childhood often include tinkering experiments and these spoke true to her; from a crawling babe state Jexla loved to play with tools and electricity especially. The potato, a starchy vegetable that can act as a conductor, was a favorite of Jexla's and she used many of them to create her very first mechanism, a skewered and tiny replica of the alarm-o-bot greeter outside the villa whose lifespan lasted roughly three seconds. Regardless, it became clear that the babe Scrabblerix had engineering potential and while she continued to play and experiment with various schematics for many years she was assigned a private instructor at the earliest age possible for education.
Jexla endured long lessons every day that helped to refine her natural talents and create foundations for new, more expansive subjects of knowledge. She was instructed in several languages and quickly became fluent in Common and Orcish primarily out of necessity but was also taught Gnomish because, "Every goblin should know the language of his sworn enemy," as her instructor once comically remarked.
The Tinker's UnionEdit
After several on-site engineering proficiency evaluations and a demonstration, Jexla was admitted into the Tinker's Union which would serve as the network for projects she would be involved in over the coming years.
Boomlax Copperplug was one of the Tinker's Union's most impressive engineers in his time spent there and his latest technological breakthrough, the Samophlange, was in its alpha stages when it was decided that to exceed this creation past its infancy he required fresher and more innovative engineers to put their skills to the test on his idea. He contracted a crew of affluent engineers of which Jexla would be one of due to her parents' money and influence. She would later prove herself with her crew mates who discovered that you can attach the snabgasket to the bleemseal's intake valves for several seconds before it malfunctions, which was allegedly already known by Copperplug when they reported it. Deciding they had satisfied his testing needs, Copperplug fired his crew and returned to work on the Samophlange in seclusion. Although their time spent tinkering with the device was brief, Jexla and the fellow tinkers all expressed some form of interest or wonder in such a device and looked forward to its completion.
Jexla's work in Alpha Project Samophlange, the official name for the crew she was a part of under Copperplug, proved that she had competence above influence and wealth. She underwent several more projects over the course of the next few years, the most notable of which was the development and creation of the Mobile Land Mine (codenamed M.L.M.) which was slated to be completed by the anticipated Trade War III, but due to complications would not actually be field ready until Trade War IV. The M.L.M. is a land mine attached to tiny little legs which are powered by a short life battery. However, the mine itself can remain active for up to several days before detonating.
A Change in TideEdit
Throughout Jexla's childhood she had grown increasingly savvy in the ways of the goblin world and was privy to its mechanisms by the time she was a young adult. She did not care much for the militaristic ideals the Sparkcog Cartel's citizens shared during the aftermath of Trade War II and III but tinkered on and assisted developing more war technologies than other projects, which gained her more open respect from her parents, who had to assist with Westcog Harbor's reparations after a Boltkrieg attack during Trade War II. Jexla's position as future baroness and the full inheritance to her parents' funds seemed to become a distant reality while she spent her early adulthood in Sparkcog's Undermine, further honing her skills and business ethics.
One Fateful Morning...Edit
Every morning a newspaper edition of the Kezan Daily was delivered to Jexla's house in Undermine, and she liked to read it over a traditional goblin breakfast of instant noodles. As she unrolled the newspaper, a headline in abnormally large font appeared that read "Kezan's Next Superstar: The Story of Gastro Zimirvox", featuring a large picture of the goblin monopolist and his recently unveiled mechanical legs! "This daring entrepreneur", she read, "had lost his legs in a horrible incident that became known as the Krazzenburg Disaster of which he was one of the few survivors. Years went by as fate seemed to deny this man who disappeared from the face of Kezan until he, equipped with instant noodles, a little business, what money he had, and fierce determination, was able to climb into the celebrity spotlight and WOW us all with a functional pair of mechanical replacements where his legs would be if they were still here." Jexla, amazed that such a thing could be possible and learning from the same article that this Zimirvox goblin had spent a large duration of his incapacitated years in Westcog Harbor and still remained there, wrote to her parents to tell them she would be coming home immediately for a "social check-up".
Life on the HomefrontEdit
Westcog Harbor had undergone substantial growth spurts in Jexla's absence. Throughout her childhood little more than necessities were spent repairing the damaged port as predicted tensions in the preceding Trade Wars III and IV had scared off much investment on a seaside port. When this economic contraction finally settled the town began to build itself up once more and birthed many more ports and establishments. Stepping off of the zeppelin depositing her directly in front of her parents' villa atop one of the harbor's largest and most fortified factories (owned by the family themselves, it is reserved entirely for them), one of the very first things she was presented with was a list of tax dues from each establishment and person in the town. It was her duty, her parents explained, to understand the value of monetary gain and public appearance. During her stay in Westcog, she would be expected to balance both. They would collect a hefty sum of whatever remained from the tax revenues, and carefully examine it themselves, of course, but offered her a portion for her own savings which she would also be expected to manage herself.
A Slice of Prime BaronessEdit
Jexla Scrabblerix quickly became more than just the daughter of the town's barony: between the social media and attending the grand opening of one of Gastro Zimirvox's new stores as a V.I.P., it was loosely speculated that this already fattening young woman would take over the throne her parents held in due time. She advocated several issues and was relatively popular among the seldom middle and upper class goblins, attending many gatherings and quickly gaining mastery over the financial statuses of the town from several of her parents' financial advisers. Eventually, she was invited to Undermine to speak publicly in the stead of her parents, who refused to go for "business limitations". She eagerly accepted a chance to prove herself and set out for Undermine.
Putting all of her training and knowledge into a single speech, Jexla delivered a powerful presentation to a relatively crowded audience, easily defeating her opponent on the social matter of whether or not the Trade Coalition should outlaw slavery. Almost immediately afterwards, Jexla was hurried off-stage by her parents' hired bodyguards, who informed her that her parents had been murdered during the speech. Additionally, Trade Prince Reklix had almost instantaneously and most unsympathetically appointed Mogul Vermix Blastbor the new baron of Westcog. It was no secret that lately supporters of Gastro Zimirvox, whose rising success was becoming problematic for certain powerful figures, had been turning up dead - their corpses often mutilated in cruel ways - and her parents, whose support the goblin entrepreneur had won, now succumbed to this chain of gruesome deaths. Barely maintaining face at this horrifying news, she quickly reminded her guards that she will cover the expenses for her safety, before ordering them to escort her somewhere safe. She would be taken to a safe house in an unmarked location where she would lay low over the course of several months, brooding heavily over the loss of her parents and her rightful inheritance: the barony.
Back to Square 1Edit
Feeding herself and her guards' wallets was not a simple task over the duration of Jexla's hiding and often required her to be more than conservative with her spending: many times, she would skip meals or absentmindedly engineer light inventions and have them sold off on the markets for more money. It was not until news reached her ears months later that Reklix's mogul, Vermix Blastbor, the same man who had snatched the seat of Westcog's rulership from she and her parents, had been publicly exposed as a criminal and slave driver and was being ridiculed for his actions, and that media sources were even pressuring the Trade Prince himself to exile this scandalous goblin, that Jexla had an epiphany: where she is, and where she should be. It was difficult, of course, for a goblin who had never known this much political strife and fear for her life to muster her courage and decide to wrench a mogul from her seat. However, seeing the opportunity of a lifetime, Jexla gathered her senses and set out for the bank in Undermine where her parents' funds were still stored.
Return to BaseEdit
After gathering her finances, Jexla Scrabblerix set out for Westcog Harbor once again. This time, she intended to wage a battle on Westcog's infrastructure until she achieved goals. Upon her arrival, far on the outskirts of the city, she began to assess of the situation, quickly revealing that the city had changed drastically yet again. Largely a factory port, Westcog has always boasted a generally poor working class of goblins, although it had never been quite this bad. Slums poured into the streets where goblins were forced to crowd and even block traffic to have somewhere to sleep for the night. All of them appeared to be victims of harsh reforms no doubt enacted by the new baron. While working conditions had worsened, they were far less of a concern than the fact that pay had decreased enough to throw more of the population out on the streets. It would certainly not be hard to take advantage of the situation and win their support, Jexla thought. Likewise, with the mogul's recent scandal the factories - the backbone of the city - would be at her mercy.
It is a dangerous sport, attempting to overthrow someone in power. Although there were many public outspeakings arising against Vermix, Jexla would not risk her head in coming out before all of the pieces were in place. Using her parents' wealth to extend her influence from the shadows, it quickly became whispers on the streets that the Scrabblerixs' child had survived and returned to reclaim her rightful place. Accompanied with promises of much needed pay and tax reform, this news was welcomed with open arms both among the poor and the wealthy. Less tax than what the mogul was charging, and more pay than what he was allowing. For anyone who had previously worked with Westcog's finances, it would not be difficult to manipulate this factor in his or her favor.
Many citizens of Westcog were eager to hear that there was a survivor to the previous barony. Although like all goblins the Scrabblerixs had worked for their own benefit, they did not completely forget where all of their wealth came from and Jexla was easily hailed as their rightful successor in private. For several more months she continued to work from the shadows and spread her influence and propaganda around the city, gaining support from all corners and even winning the admiration of a secret and rather influential admirer. She would, at every available opportunity, turn that support into aggression towards the mogul. Vermix Blastbor's vast and growing unpopularity was intensified within Westcog and the Sparkcog Cartel itself as the media only grew more unruly in their demands for his immediate exile.
Eventually, Trade Prince Reklix was left with no choice but to exile the mogul whom he had shouldered prominence and trust upon. Jexla was quick to use her established connections to gain control over the harbor. Despite the paranoid trade prince's efforts against her parents in the past she was able to maintain her hold over her new position in Westcog, continuing to use her influence from those she had gained it from to solidify this claim. Her financial genius was able to satisfy both the working class and the wealthy class within the city and her popularity - as well as her pockets - flourished.
Jexla Scrabblerix, after securing political power, continued to serve the Sparkcog Cartel until Trade Prince Reklix's eventual assassination and Zimirvox's rise to power. Around this time, she began to secretly contract various groups of engineers of differing expertise for "odd jobs". These contracts were spread out over the years and their terms highly secretive: many of the engineers stayed inside her private factory until their work was finished, at which point they would go missing. Her family's factory became littered with giant pieces of machinery - all of which were, when analyzed by the Bureau Of Investigations, components outlined in obtained blueprints for a giant rocket.
Eventually, rumors spread of what was happening inside of the factory through unknown sources. The bodies of the missing engineers began to turn up in strange locations, typically where they were easily found. Their work contracts tended to turn up mysteriously as well, always straight into official hands, and the details of their individual projects allowed the pieces to come together, revealing what was a plan to assassinate General Vixx Steelwrench, one of the Sparkcog Cartel's generals. Jexla Scrabblerix was quickly executed by the Bureau concluding its investigation, although the exact details of this plan, such as assembling the rocket, how it would be launched and its destination, remain unclear despite the damning amount of evidence.
The circumstances surrounding the nature of the investigation are officially concluded, although it was worth noting throughout all the evidence how a baron could finance such a massive project and still live as luxuriously as Scrabblerix did. The sheer scale of the plan alone would have cost a massive fortune: hiring all of the engineers and disposing of them, the construction of a giant rocket, and the eventual silo it would be launched from, were all extremely costly factors, and yet she lived lavishly. There have been rumors that these efforts were sponsored by an influential mogul seeking to remove General Steelwrench, as he is widely unpopular with many Sparkcog politicians, and that Scrabblerix was merely a puppet to frame should the plan fail. Other rumors claim that the rocket was being constructed for mogul Glucket Gizmospin's Red Rocket Palace, and that Scrabblerix simply intended to use it to blow the general up as she did not like him. Some goblins who care to remember her rise to power in Westcog Harbor simply point out her minimal role in actually overthrowing the mogul, Vermix Blastbor, and that her success was a fluke that inflated her ego beyond control, creating a power-hungry baron that did not know her place. A saucy street rumor claims she was a Boltkrieg agent all along, seeking to start the fifth Trade War over the matter of oil deposits in Uldum.
Regardless of the truth, interest in the matter quickly died in the wake of Westcog Harbor's military occupation, and many have already forgotten Jexla Scrabblerix as they return to their own lives and profits.