Keep your books as your would your body
Scattered throughout Thelasia and Attania
Isorian, Guardian of Knowledge and Time, Keeper of the Underworld
2-4 paces tall
Adult age at 20 and they live to be an average of 200
Like their Dwarven cousins, Gnomes are short and pudgy in build. Skin tone, eye color, and hair color don’t stray out of the human norm, though they lack any sort of facial hair. Their skin, soft and pale, burns easily when exposed to the sun, while their hair fades at a young age among men, and usually balding near adulthood. Their bodies are doughy and undersized, even for Gnomes that are physically fit and able. Their eyes and noses are also large and prominent, though their eyesight is often weak, often forcing them to rely on monocles and spectacles
Country Gnomes and City Gnomes have no discerning physical features, but their dress is quite different. Country Gnomes hold a more humble trend in clothing with linen, woolen, and some leather clothing in muted colors and are often found barefoot. City Gnomes have upgraded their fashion some to include some silks and velvets with fine vests and well-cobbled shoes.
Example Description of a Gnome
This fine gentleman of a Gnome blinks out at the world through a set of bottlecap spectacles that enlarge his already big blue eyes, set upon a bulbous nose, and encapsulating a round, doughy face. His thinning brown curls are parted on his head but not overly styled, and his eyebrows are thick and bushy. Pudgy hands with stubby fingers often rest on his soft potbelly, and his thin lips are almost always parted in an expression of thoughtfulness or interest.
This tiny old lady is incredibly tiny, and not just for being squat and hunched over. As a gnome of only two paces tall, her dark beady eyes can surely only see so much, yet her large ears seem to wiggle at the slightest sound. She has a wizened, pointed face, a slight underbite with a jutting triangular jaw, and an aquiline nose that might have been very handsome at one point. Her stark white hair is braided into a bun, yet constant flyaways hang in the air while her tiny brittle fingers fidget before her.
Sedate and scholarly, Gnomes are peaceful people only aroused by pride and competition in their fields of knowledge and lore. Knowledge is the basis of status among the Gnomish people, which often comes with age. From birth, a Gnomish child spends the majority of its time absorbing information. Tinkering with toys, reading philosophical scrolls, and developing artwork.
City Gnomes have a more cynical decorum compared to their Country counterparts, whereas Country Gnomes are far more merry and welcoming.
Gnomes aren’t a very independent race since the fall of their ancient keep during the Age of Strife. They’ve survived on melding with societies in other cities, taking up professions of all sorts with their endless supply of knowledge. They are not a very outspoken race, instead engrossing themselves in their duties by whoever employs them. They can be somewhat shy and apprehensive, which makes them easy to manipulate.
Marriage customs and handfastings are not far stretched from usual human customs. Both City and County Gnomes are monogamous by nature, but view marriage very different. While they both have traditionally participated in the rite of marriage, some Country Gnomes are content to live alone in a quiet and studious life away from cities and crowds. City Gnomes, however, see it as their duty, for the most part, to marry and continue the procreation of the Gnomish race and culture.
It is typical for all Gnomes to marry and have children between the ages of 30 to 40, as it is expected that a young adult should get at least a good decade in of specialized education before they take on other responsibilities.
Family is important to Gnomes, as it is a fundamental and pragmatic form of organizing groups of teachers and students. It also generates a sense of pride and belonging for people that otherwise might feel lost and strange. Gnome families generally have five to six living generations, each one with their own familial expectations and responsibilities. Children and young adults have a responsibility to learn, grow in wisdom, and find their path in life while respecting those who came before them. Parents and grandparents take care of young children, teach practical skills, and introduce youth to different subjects of interest. Great-grandparents are often called matrons and patrons of the family, and they are keepers of their family books to record genealogy and personal history. The elders of a family, or those in the oldest living generation, have a responsibility to act as ambassadors for the Gnomish race, and more specifically speakers for the welfare of their progeny. This is especially true when one family has served a specific house or organization for centuries as researchers and advisors or otherwise.
One of the most important aspects of funeral rites for the dead is the record of their history. The written history of their lives is so important and detailed with such accuracy and detail, it has been the motivation for a deedful life for centuries. If you live a good life your written history will be good. If you live a terrible life, your history will reflect such, so it is important for Gnomes to live a good life for the historical impact of it.
Each Gnomish family keeps their own family “bible” of their family history. This book is so important it is always the first then grabbed or protected during a fire or even that endangers the home.
Gnomish customs in general involve honoring their dead till the end of time. Despite just the written record, there is also the tradition of all of Gnomish dead being placed within the great Temple of Isorian with its vast Mausoleum underneath.
The funerals of Elder Gnomes are often seen as being large celebratory affairs where the bodies are dressed and decorated and paraded into the Temple of Isorian, while the funerals of younger Gnomes are kept very small and private mournings with respect to the family.
The Gnomish language, and therefore their names, are based in Old English. First names can be anything that sounds probable, and same with last names, though there are a number of the largest, most well-known, and most influential families that make up a little more than half of the Gnomish population – especially in the city. The five biggest families are:
Bredbook – Renowned for their expert bookkeeping and ties with Human nobility
Psalmter – Started the tradition of family bibles and provided wisdom, comfort, and reform during the time of their homeland’s destruction
Redscope – Kept copious historical records, especially in wartime Lothspell – Known for their prowess in magic, and are a little weird even for gnomes
Wodesmith – Carry a tradition of technological innovation and creation
If you aren’t sure what Old English is like at all, you can take a look at this dictionary: https://www.oldenglishtranslator.co.uk.
Here are some examples of common first names: Blowan, Sunnbled, Thruder, Westering, Levlin, Wellecken, Firrum, Benothan, Dunlick, Byrda, Quethan, Gimmset, Siga
Gnomes are known for their peerless intelligence. They make admirable mages and sorcerers and are slightly more agile than their cousins, the Dwarves. They are not very strong or hearty, but they more than make up for that with their natural acumen. Due to their intelligence, they are resistant to attacks of the mind.
Tips for Playing a Gnome:
- Gnomes have a lot of history which lends to your ability to be creative with your character. There’s not necessarily a wrong way to play a gnome that we’ve seen.
- Gnomes are not silly or nonsensical, but rather have a deep appreciation for life. For those that have specialized skills or areas of study, their enthusiasm for it may come across as exuberant and odd to other races.
The Gnomish race has survived many disasters since its creation. What was once a healthy and thriving race was dwindled down to clumps of stragglers in a matter of decades. Their elaborate keep of knowledge destroyed by war and lost somewhere in the Beruvian Mountains, mostly at the hand of the orcish hordes. Their relationship between their cousins, the Dwarves, ripped apart by the feud between their creators Gannor and Isorian. They were left scattered to the wind, a good portion finding themselves camped outside the gates of the rebuilding Attania, becoming known as the City Gnomes, while the rest remained throughout the Aolani Mountains, Beruvian Mountains, and Mistwood, becoming what is known as County Gnomes. Their knowledge of architecture proved to be the secure foundation of the new Imperium city. Since then they have endured through their wits, becoming tacticians, architects, scholars, all employed by the highest bidder.
Notable Gnomes Throughout History:
- Inish Baublesmith, Famous Thelasian Historian
Brownies – I think they could prove to be great inventors if they could focus their minds to it. Instead, all they seem to want to do is play.
Orcs – They are nothing more than savages!
Hydrelean – I think the Hydrel understands things about sailing and the ocean that we could never understand from the land. There’s so much we could learn from their people.
Aeromis – If they learned the act of conformity better, I think they could do well for themselves. Still, they’ve been places and seen things that I only wish I was able to do myself. They could teach us plenty about other places in the world.
Pixies – Sometimes the only thing that brings me joy, is conversing with a pixie. They continuously surprise me with what they know.
Elves – They have the resources to become a great people, but they put their social status above everything else, which means they will never reach their full potential.
Centaurs – They are simple-minded but pure of heart. A good companion to have when traveling, as they will save your feet.
Felar – I’ve never had a good experience with a Felarae. They see us as nothing more than pawns.
Dwarves – Speak not of the Dwarven race, nothing good can come of associating with their kind.
Giants – I know little of these prophets, though I’ve always been eager to study them. It’s a shame their choice of habitats was so poor.
Humans – Though I’m often marveled at the depth of their greed, we owe them a great deal for helping us to get back on our feet again. For that, I am truly grateful.
(This is the general concept of the race. Advent allows for diversity and originality when it comes to racial concepts and backgrounds, as long as it is within reason, so feel free to use your creativity when playing the race. Physical references to races, however, should remain within the norm.)
Gnomish artwork by Anneki