The High Tinker is the highest political office in Gnomeregan, and of the Gnomeregan Exiles. The gnomes have not had a proper king or queen for over four hundred years, instead preferring to elect their highest officials for set terms of service. (This form of government seems to be a meritocracy) These men and women hold grand titles (for example "King of the Gnomes") but only hold their power for set terms of office, after which they return to the work force. The ruler holds the seat of the High Tinker.
The legitimately recognized High Tinker is Gelbin Mekkatorque, who has held the office for the last several years. After the irradiation of Gnomeregan, Mekkatorque now leads his people from Tinker Town in Ironforge. Mekkatorque's former chief advisor, Sicco Thermaplugg, planned on not only becoming "High Tinker" but also being the first true "King of Gnomeregan" in over four hundred years. He currently controls the halls and leper gnomes of the irradiated city.