Gnomes

Gnomes are small humanoids known for their eccentric sense of humor, inquisitiveness, and engineering prowess. Having had few overt influences on Corwyn history; gnomes are often overlooked by the powers that be, despite their craftiness and affinity for illusion magic

Description


Gnomes are very small compared to most other races and, with an average height ranging between 3'0" – 3'6" and a weight range of 40 – 50 lbs. Gnomes are generally larger and heavier than halflings. However, while halflings are commonly said to resemble short humans, gnomes are more comparable to small elves, with whom they shared pointed ears and high cheekbones. Some believe gnomes resemble tiny dwarves, due to their tendency to grow beards and live underground. Many gnomes have a more feral appearance than either, however, with hair that often sprouted from their heads in odd directions.

The skin of gnomes runs from reddish tan to earthy brown or even shades of gray, with exact hue somewhat dependent upon the ethnic origin of a gnome. Similarly, gnomish hair varied wildly in color from blond and brown to more exotic colors like white, orange, or even green. Gnomish eyes are often glittering shades of black, green, or blue.

Gnomes are extremely long-lived, often living as long as elves. Generally, gnomes are considered to reach maturity at forty years of age. However, unlike elves, gnomes show a greater degree of aging as they grow older and once a gnome has passed his or her first century, their hair beginsto gray, if it was not already white, and their skin begins to wrinkle as in humans or dwarves. However, even the oldest gnome retained a vitality that would be extraordinarily unusual among many of the younger races.

Abilities


Gnomes are naturally intelligent and creative, with a charm about them unusual for other humanoids. Gnomes also have a natural grasp of the arcane, innately possessing the ability to cast minor cantrips and some possess the ability to cast more advance spells. Gnomes also have a natural affinity for stealth, an affinity they can sometimes pass on to others, and illusion, both for the purpose of using it for themselves as well as seeing through other attempts at it. Gnomes are physically weak, compared to other humanoids, although this is far from a universal trait for the race. Like elves, gnomes have sensitive hearing and are often capable of hearing things that other races cannot. Gnomish eyes are also suited for seeing in low-light conditions, to a degree comparable with elves or dwarves.

Personality


Gnomes are intelligent, innately curious; with a strong affinity for all thing magical. Gnomes might lack the drive and ambition of other races, particularly humans, but their creativity gives them a strong ability for ingenuity. Most gnomes are content to live simple lives, acquiring knowledge merely as a hobby but others eagerly explore lost ruins, delve deep into the heart of the world, and conduct dangerous research in their unquenchable thirst for knowledge, leading more than a few to an untimely demise.

Gnomes are naturally witty and jovial, and they preferr to overcome obstacles through cunning and innovation rather than the obvious way. Ever curious, gnomes are drawn to adventuring more often by a desire to see the world than out of greed or the hope of fame. It is this curiosity, along with their cunning and witty repartee, that make gnomes both entertaining friends and adept scholars.

Culture


Like other races, gnomish culture varies based on region and ethnicity, but a few characteristics are common to most gnomes. Among virtually all gnomes, great value is placed on one's ability to avoid trouble and stay out of the way of others. Children's games often involved elements of stealth and among adults drawing attention to one's self was considered a breach of etiquette. The few legends of gnomish heroes were not of powerful warriors but of subtle tricksters, who sneaked past or tricked their opponents rather than vanquishing them in combat. This in part came from the long-standing issue gnomes had faced, namely their minuscule size compared to larger predators or enemies such as giants, whom few gnomes could hope to stand toe to toe with in a fair fight.

Gnomes have an intricate society based on their love of all kinds of arts, pranks, and their long lives. Gnomes loved indulgence, and they made most celebrations on a grander scale. Gnome weddings lasted for a week, even though gnomes didn't view love the same way humans did. If love began to go wrong between a couple they might break up, believing it was a prank by the Gods. Their society was based on art; all gnomes had to take up some form of art, whether music, painting, cooking, building, or any other form that was considered creative by the time they came of age.

Gnomes who left home to seek an adventurer's life were rare, given the race's famed shyness and lack of ambition. Those that did were motivated by a number of factors, but the impulsive race was often driven by curiosity more than anything else. Many gnomes felt no more rationale for adventuring than simply to explore the world that surrounded them. A few, the more orderly ones that is, sought out adventure for more innately noble purposes, such as to help others, but these gnomes were rare. Other gnomes were driven to become adventurers by little more than simple avarice, as adventuring was often seen as a quick, if unsafe, avenue for wealth. Adventuring was not necessarily a welcomed lifestyle among gnomes, despite the curiosity that filled the whole race, and sometimes was, in fact, seen as a betrayal of sorts to a gnome's clan.

Magic and religion


Gnomes are talented illusionists, with a natural grasp of the arcane. Regardless of their other talents, all gnomes are capable of casting a cantrip or two and had the capacity to disappear from sight if they wished. Gnomes are well-suited to all forms of arcane training, particularly that of a bard, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard.

Relations with other races


Gnomes, in general, were a reclusive people who'd rather stay out of others' affairs. Though some races interpreted this as cowardice, it's more the case that gnomes simply had nothing at stake in the conflicts between most other races and after centuries of being ignored or stomped on, were not particularly eager to fight someone else's fight. In fact, generally speaking, gnomes were a very courageous and good-hearted race, who frequently used their neutrality as a way to negotiate disputes. Of all the races on Corwyn, it's fair to say that gnomes had the fewest enemies, although they had very few friends as well.

Gnomes rarely intentionally invoked ire in any group, but at times circumstances made conflict with other races unavoidable. In the wild, gnomes were particularly wary of the fomorians that sometimes enslaved them, regarding them with fear and caution. In the Prime Material Plane, gnomes were most often at odds with goblins and kobolds, who shared their underground homes and often war with them for territory or wealth. In these cases, gnomes were rarely the aggressors, owing to their tendency to avoid trouble rather than cause it.

Gnomes were on fairly good terms with other fey, and they shared good relations with elves. Gnomes also had sympathy for the fey commonly enslaved by fomorians, feeling empathy for creatures that shared the fate many of their forbears had suffered. Gnomes also got along well enough with halflings.

Among those gnomes who lived in the caverns of the Prime, dwarves were often counted as friends, due in part to the two races' physical and cultural similarities. Additionally, dwarves and gnomes both counted goblins and giants as enemies and could often be found working together against them. Gnomes were generally suspicious of other races, however.