"Curiosity is the mother of invention." - Old Gnomish proverb.
"We Gnomes are the greatest inventors in the world. That's not a boast, it's a statement of fact. If you still have doubts, I ask you: Could a Human, or a Dwarf, or an Elf, calculate the maximum trajectory angle of a wind-powered grenade launcher while simultaneously working out how to make one? Didn't think so." - Yörig Bracktenheimner.
Gnome Racial Statistics
Average Height (Male): 3'-3'3".
Average Height (Female): 2'8"-3'1".
Average Weight (Male): 80 lbs.
Average Weight (Female): 75 lbs.
Average Lifespan: 160 years.
The Gnome race evolved about fifty years after the Rahyn War, and began to form into a civilzed society one hundred-or-so years later. In 437 A.R.W., Güria Arjen founded the Kingdom of Gäsfayögen and proclaimed herself Queen. Her reign lasted about fourty years, to be succeeded by her eldest son, Koröss. It was he who first discovered the cosmic force known as Magic. With it, he won numerous civil wars in the coming decades (the amount of time has never been specified), all of which were fought between those who embraced Magic, and those who thought it untrustworthy and dangerous. With the rebels crushed and his life growing short, Koröss handed over his crown to his only son Øgran, who, after fifty years of practicing Magic, died of a myterious malady. No doctor could find a cause of the ailment. What he had died of was an allergy to Magic that lies within all Gnomes. (See "Physical Aspects" below for details on the allergic reaction). After this, little detail is recorded on rulers, events, and wars, although it seems evident that some massive conflict broke out after the king's death. The most recent reliable source of history is a report (dated 720 A.R.W.) from a mining official who discovered a blue metal in great abundance. The metal is soon named adrinium. Magic use at this time was a somewhat contentious issue, and the current, unnamed King or Queen was looking for other ways to advance their race's society and military strategies. It was decided that experiments were to run on adrinium. It was discovered that when fire came into contact with it, it vibrated, the speed at which it did this depending on the temperature. Intrigued, Gnomish scientists made a primitive machine using the enigmatic metal. This machine was simply called "The Rotator", because it consisted of a wheel moving in a slow, circular motion. Soon, more advanced machines were being made, including heaters, guns, and even primitive jukeboxes of sorts. Magic was a dying force among the Gnomes, and was becoming more and more likely to be outlawed. In 1021 A.R.W., the Kingdom of Gäsfayögen reformed into the Democratic Parliament of Gäsfayögen, and soon made the practice of Magic punishable by death, for two reasons. One: Magic was, obviously, dangerous to Gnomes; and two: the Prime Minister, Lënorg "Magicbane" Arigg, had strong beliefs that Magic was a force that would ultimately drive his race into extinction. Most Gnomish Magic practitioners accepted the change, for they'd seen it coming for years. However, one group in particular was outraged: The Cult of Grotki. Grotki himself had been working long on a cure for the allergy, and may have been close, if recently unearthed sources are correct. This Cult was made up of the most powerful Gnome Mages and Sorcerors, and could have put an end to Arigg right there. Fortunately, they didn't realise this, and fled into the harsh mountains to devise plans to overthrow the Parliament and bring back the days of the Magic-using Kingdom. Gäsfayögen created the first few ships in its navy in around 1040 A.R.W., though they were unarmed exploration ships and transport barges. They sent a group in each direction on the compass. Most found more sea, or the North Pole, but one discovered the land of Aiásimaar, and its Elven inhabitants. Soon, both nations formed an alliance, and flourished through profitable trading. However, this tranquil state did not last, for in 1056 A.R.W., the breakup of Aiásimaar began. Most Gnomes, for their part, fled the bloodshed of the Elven Civil War, but some stayed behind. Those who did not leave became merchants and advisors, their inventions and intellect proving quite valuable to Aiásimaar. But even then the dust did not settle. In 1073 A.R.W. seeing that the Elves had been weakened, the Human and Dwarf Alliance made its move against the threatening Elven Republic, and the War of the Swords and Hammers began in a bloody battle on the borders of Human and Elf territories. When the war finally ended, many Gnomes migrated back to Aiásimaar, and helped Stradsofar, Khâsgorânnz, and Aiásimaar recover from the conflict. It became apparent to the Dwarf and Gnome races that their genetic makup was similar. Similar enough to produce hybrids. As cross-species relationships began, these hybrids began to pop up. They were half the size of their Dwarven parents. They had great intellgience intellgence and equal stockiness, though niether atribute as strong as their parents'. Eventually, this race became known as Halflings. However, there was no spare land to start a kingdom for them, so they lived among their parent races, as well as the Humans and Elves (hence, they are sometimes referred to as the Vagabond Race). It seemed that this tranquil peace would last an age. It was not to be, however. An ancient enemy loomed. Watching. Waiting. At last, in 1114 A.R.W., the Demons invaded Hayle. The Gnomish race fought valiantly against the Demons, their state-of-the-art cannons and war zepplins contributing to the war effort immensely. After the invasion, in 1 A.D.I., Gäsfayögen became a founding member of the Defenders of Hayle, along with Stradsofar, Khâzgorânnz, and Aiásimaar. It was at this time that the supposedly long-dead Grotki returned to dog his race again. His Cult had swelled to considerable numbers over the years. Apparently, he had completed his cure for the Gnomish allergy to Magic, and had used it to extend his life astranomically. After an unsuccessful assault upon Gäsfayögen's capital, Grotki fled into the southern wetlands of the country, and is yet to return...
All modern Gnomes are clinically insane, obsessed with machinery and change. This condition (known as technomania) came into being at about 900 A.R.W., when invention had become the basis of Gnomish society and culture. Today, Gnomes experience intense euphoria, or, on occasion, fall into a trance when near any kind of technology. Also, due to their allergy to Magic, many Gnomes suffer from arcanophobia (fear of Magic).
The Gnomish allergy to Magic in all its forms is unexplained, and is, most likely, an experiment by the Dragons. The commonest symptoms usually occur within 48 hours, and develop as follows:
1. Minor nausea or headache.
2. Stomach aches begin. Nausea worsens.
3. Vomiting may begin. If vomiting does not begin, then the nausea, stomach ache, and headache will end within four hours, and the reaction will end.
4. Nausea becomes almost unbearable. Stomach ache worsens. Headache subsides.
5. Numbness in the limbs begins. Pain responses shut down entirely.
6. Heavy vomiting. Quarantine of subject is highly recommended.
7. As utter loss of feeling occurs, subject is viable for execution under Gäsfayögen law for practicing Magic.
8. Minor dementia and amnesia begins. Sometimes, subject may cry out in hallucinated pain.
9. Coma or loss of control of limbs.
10. Subject brain activity ends.
By symptom 6, this reaction becomes very contagious, so quarantine (or, even, termination) of the affected is necessary to prevent any more Gnomes becoming infected.
Gnomes have only one set of teeth. This is most likely because that only 5% of the ideal Gnomish diet is made up of meat. Due to their size, they don't need much protein, and can become overweight quite easily. This all makes sense, as Gäsfayögen has a very small non-racoon animal population. Gnomes mostly eat berries and other vegetables.