The Dotze Affariata are a loose coalition of a dozen semi-allied city-states, four major and twelve minor. While the exact influence of the following factions on each cities' internal politics varies somewhat, these following factions are almost always present to some degree.
One thing that all the Affarati cities have in common is some form of hereditary monarch. This is almost always a Prince or Doge, although there are some Princesses. Also, Marcelena has a king and Mareis a Duchess. These royal families are often fairly large, and most are interrelated, making it sometimes awkward to order a border skirmish or caravan raid against one's second cousin four times removed. The royal families frequently have small-scale conflicts over trade rights, tariffs and the like, but large scale wars are all but unheard-of in recent history, and the cities have a mutual defense treaty that states that an attack on one of them by any human nation is to be considered an attack on all of them. This and other agreements are made yearly, when a representative of each city meets with their colleagues in Marcelena to shout, argue and debate things such as trade rights, tariffs, borders, etc.
The Trade Guilds:
Easily more powerful than the royalty is the various trade guilds. Each guild is a coalition of craftsmen and merchants oriented towards a limited service they provide to the citizens of the Dotze Affariata and beyond, such as pottery, metallurgy, textiles and others. They pay the majority of the taxes that keep the royalty in power, a fact of which they are well aware, as it gives them greatly improved bargaining power through their "lobbies", groups of negotiators who exist to make the governments of the cities aware of the Guild's needs, as well as make sure they are met. These guilds frequently work in tandem, as their markets overlap only in the slightest due to their organization of filling a single need.
The Mercenary Bands:
Because the Trade Guilds need both hired muscle and a level of protection from bandits, thieves, and occasionally gnome raiders, being a mercenary in the Dotze Affariata is a fairly lucrative job. They are generally hired as groups or units, with some exceptions made for skilled commanders or "specialized" sorts of combatants. They are also used by the governments of the cities in times of war, as they only support their own royal guards and a city watch, not a full-fledged field army. These bands serve a purpose, but most rulers would rather avoid dealing with them if possible, as they have a fairly poor reputation as ruthless and unreliable killers. They are also hired by the Slavers, who use them to ward off the attacks of those they try to enslave.
The Slavers are, like mercenaries, considered to be somewhat of the dregs of society. However, they do provide a service that almost all humans appreciate: Gnome slaves. The gnomes are native to the area of the Dotze Affariata, although face by the threat of the slavers, they have retreated somewhat, into the swampier or less-inhabited areas of the land. The slavers are some of the few who have a basic understanding of the lay of the land, enough to track down a semi-nomadic Gnome group and capture them without getting too lost. Despite the large profits that these bands make, it is a fairly dangerous profession. Surprisingly enough, most gnomes do not really want to be taken into slavery, and about one in four slaver groups are never seen again, usually killed by the gnomes and their mounts, if not the wildlife. Regardless of the risk involved, the Trade Guilds and royalty continue to purchase Gnome slaves.
One thing for which the Dotze Affariata are famous is their great universities. While they rarely involve themselves in politics, they have a level of loyalty from their alumni, of which they produce many in the fields of mechanics, military command, history, politics, diplomacy, music, trade and business.
Anywhere where wealth accumulates, there are those who wish to steal it. Most thieves belong to some form of organization, which serves to accept a portion (usually around 20-25%) of each taking, and uses this amount to provide safehouses, fences and pay off the watch to prevent a large-scale investigation. Those that are not part of an organization are generally grassed up by their colleagues, and made examples of by the Watch "See! We finally caught one!".
The Gnomes are a race that has been present since before the original empire arrived, and was living in peace with the First People at the time. They now have a fairly beleaguered existence, running from slavers when they can, and killing them when they can't. They have had not recent positive contact with any humans, and are more likely to simply kill them and end the threat than let them escape and tell the tale. Their mounts, which take the form of (sorta) domesticated crocodiles in the swampier areas and large wolflike dogs in the drier parts, play a large role in their mobility, in extended family bands of usually no more than thirty, with small carts if on dry land, and kayak-like boats in the swamps. They are on good terms with the dwarves to the north, but are usually far enough apart that little interactions take place. The Urgals have no interest in the "little people", although they might be interested in their possessions. The gnomes are known to most to be highly skilled in most crafts, from working with leather or wood, to light smithwork with their portable furnaces. They are usually the only source they have of tools, so they make their won and do it well. As they are too small to be effective laborers, this is usually the role they are used for as slaves.
Le Crunch (very similar to standard):
+2 Constitution, -2 Strength.
Small-All applicable effects.
Gnome base land speed is 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision-Same as usual.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions.
Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusion spells and spells of the Green school cast by gnomes. Gnomes often use their innate magic and connection with the earth to trick others.
+1 racial bonus on attack rolls against Urgals and Humanoids.
+2 racial bonus on Listen, Swim and Spot checks, as well as Wild Empathy if it is a class skill.
+4 racial bonus to avoid contact in long-distance pursuits.
Automatic Languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Urgal, Sunshani, Tala (the language of Vallheim), Soleh and Llenta (The language of the Dotze Affariata) In addition, a gnome can speak with a mammal, reptile or bird. This ability is innate to gnomes. See the speak with animals spell description.
Spell-Like Abilities: 1/dayspeak with animals (Mammal, reptile or bird only, duration 1 minute). A gnome with a Wisdom score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/dayDancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation. Caster level 1st; save DC 10 + gnomes Wis modifier + spell level.