The irradiation of Gnomeregan transformed many of the city's survivors into leper gnomes. Among these victims was the brilliant Mekgineer Steamrigger. Although he escaped Gnomeregan and retained his intellect, whatever ethics and compassion he had once possessed were gone. He wandered Azeroth, selling his knowledge to a number of unscrupulous groups such as the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Recently, the naga hired Steamrigger to operate the intricate machinery in Zangarmarsh's Steamvault.