Fitzwillager the Impetuous

Fitzwillager was one of the most famous inventor/scientists known to Gnomes. He was not the best, not even very good at all, but he was well known. He earned his title at a very early age, through various ill-planned experiments. Some of his more notable early efforts include grabbing fire, massage therapy for porcupines and various flying machines- all of these ended in extremely painful failure.

Fitzwillager attempting to snare a deadly flying piranha
When he was older, Fitzwillager gained some renown after publishing his work on Goblin psychology. For this, he interviewed several Goblins (often as many as twelve at a time), urging them to get in touch with their inner feelings and find "the heart of the matter". This report was widely read during Fitzwillager's long recovery in hospital. Many thought that this work showed courage, if not much insight into Goblins' feelings.

After several minor failed experiments, such as his foray into the art world with his "Teetering Pile of Rocks With Nothing Holding Them Together" (which earned him another lengthy stay in hospital), he struck upon "a brilliant new idea". He constructed a robot to assist in housework.

According to the specifications in his notebook, this mechanical person was some 18 inches tall, nearly indestructible, as strong as five Gnomes, equipped with free will and emotions, and all of this powered by a magic gemstone. It also had a very nasty temper. Only minutes after it was activated, the robot flew into a murderous rage and tore Fitzwillager's laboratory apart. It would have finished tearing it's creator apart had it not been distracted by the sound of a dog barking down the lane, which it chose to investigate. It did, however, manage to wrench off one of Fitzwillager's arms before leaving. No one ever found the robot.

After a very long stay in hospital and years of therapy (not to mention a short stint with a replacement limb made of cheese, his own design of course, which ended in a sticky, smelly mess), Fitz was back at it. He struggled for several years, attempting to do something that would have some other end result than causing himself serious injury. He struggled for even more years entering into totally inadvisable real estate transactions. (A lot of Imps and Goblins still own much of Fritzwillager's property and managed to turn the money they got from him into millions.)

Broke, homeless, and missing an arm (and somewhere along the way he lost an eye and three toes), he was now desperate. He came up with a scheme that would not only bring in money, but at last he would have the respect of his colleagues. He would construct a tower tall enough to reach the moon, and therefore be "the first Gnome on the moon".

He hired some of the finest Gnomish carpenters (led by the well known Numblenolan) and began construction on a fine April morning. Within a month, they had reached the staggering hight of 11,000 feet. All of this proved to be a difficult task as Fitzwillager's design was impractical and absurd (even for a tower that would reach the moon).

Every morning, Fitzwillager would climb to the top from the ever-rising base camp platforms, to see how close to the moon they were. Then one particularly windy day in June, he climbed to the top and never came back down. He was never seen again. Was it the wind? A passing Bombanat? Or had his absurdity torn a hole in the very fabric of space, through which he carelessly slipped? We will never know.

The carpenters dismantled the silly structure, but someone placed a stone there honouring the hapless Fitzwillager. There it still stands, as a monument to absurdity.


~ From "Famous Gnomes of History" by Dame Dianna Peel