Taskets

The cellar was dark save for the thumbnail point of light glowing from what looked like upside-down teacups with three clockwork arms that dangled down from within. With these metal arms, the creatures worked over a pile of items that flared now and again with magic gone awry. When the magic flared, it was absorbed into a gem set at their tops. The strange little creatures let out musical hums when their gems took in magic but seemed unaffected otherwise. Dismantling the faulty magical items at a meticulous but persistent pace, they slowly built a pile of scraps.
"Hurry up down there!" An apprentice shouted down into the cellar.   "Lakajan!" An older male voice scolded. "Leave the taskets to their work!"   "But, Master Fasketal," the young gnome protested. "I'm supposed to clean up down there before I can go to the High Day party and they're not finished."   "Just sweep the steps then."   "Yes, Master Fasketal!" Lakajan cheered and ran for the broom closet.
Lakajan hurried swept each step down inot the cellar before dashing back up and slamming the door. He never noticed that his command to work faster had changed the work the taskets were doing.   The taskets had stopped disassembling to gather around the pile of scraps their work had made. For a quarter hour they worked together before moving back to the work they had been doing. Above the scrap pile a brand bew tasket floated. For a moment its tiny lit up eyes watched the others before it, too, moved to an object and went to work.
 

What is a Tasket?

 
A tasket is a tiny creature that looks like an upside-down teacup with three clockwork arms that dangled down from within. Their little arms are only a foot long while their teacup-shaped bodies stand a quarter foot high. They constantly float about with no need for food or rest.   A tasket can understand any language as long as it is said to them as a command.
They were created by gnomes to dispose of faulty or unwanted magical items from wands to trinkets to larger magical mechanical things. Such work is hazardous to most living things as there are often backlashes of magics, but a tasket can absorb the magic to use later as it needs.   It did not take long for the gnomes to realize their little workshop assistants could understand and carry out other tasks beyond dismantling. In typical gnomish fashion, the taskets soon became all the rage and are found in every workshop.
 

Beyond The Workshop

 
Gnomes tend to be absentminded about things like how many taskets they should have toiling in a backroom or cellar. So focused on their work, they tend to get impatient, yelling at apprentices and even tools. Yelling is long tradition every gnome learns from their earliest days and each one aspires to the Voice of mastery whose yell can inspire great works to get done in impossible times.   This combination of absentmindedness and yelling led to no one realizing that taskets are so keen to obey their masters that when they cannot work faster, they simply create more of themselves to help.
A workshop gnome will sometimes find themselves overrun with the helpful taskets. It is at this time than a gnome will enounter the one command they will not obey. No tasket will dismantle another tasket. If yelled at to reduced their numbers, the taskets will form two groups. One group will remain in the workshop and the other will leave.   These wandering groups will descend on the nearest magical thing they encounter and happily go about dismantling it. Sanitation gnomes gather these groups and take them to the community junkyards where any gnome who wants more taskets can just gather however many they want and take them to their workshops or homes.


Cover image: A Gnome Town by Willgard

Comments

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Jul 17, 2021 00:01 by Makenzie Turney

Just a heads up, Dazz, the top quote is a bit hard to read in the 3 columns, so I would recommend a
above the second column and two
s above the third. Otherwize, I love it!

⚝moonflower⚝
Jul 19, 2021 03:48 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)

hi there. I don't think that code shows up in these comments (I tried it before too, but you may need to rephrase your suggestion because it didn't really show up.)

Jul 19, 2021 04:15 by Makenzie Turney

Ah! You're right! Sorry about that. the code is the br one

⚝moonflower⚝
Jul 19, 2021 03:47 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)

Very curious little creatures! This was such an interesting article. Just a heads up: I do see that in the header, there is a slight typo at the end that says "brand bew tasket" and I think you meant to say "brand new". But, other than that, it was absolutely intriguing! Thanks for sharing these cute little guys! <3

Jul 19, 2021 21:24 by K.S. Bishoff

thanx! I always need to chase done those typos lol

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