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    Default What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    Welcome one and all to my little version of Gnomekind! More content coming soon. Please post any critiques, comments, and criticisms you may have! Even if they're about any spelling/grammar mistakes I made, and didn't catch when I was proofreading it.

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    What is A Gnome?


    Introduction

    Are Gnomes manic inventors, endlessly building insane contraptions? Are they creatures of the forest, living in holes and bonding with nature? Are Gnomes carefree bards, always looking to pull pranks? The simple fact is that Gnomes are one of the more elusive demihumans in the Empire, and very few know where they come from, what their society is like, and why those that come here, do. The lack of knowledge about even the most basic things about this unique culture has led rumors about them, without a shred of evidence to back the most wild of claims. To that end I, Svein Anthor have traveled to distant land of the Gnomes and written this book to illuminate the mystery surrounding these proud people.

    Overview of the Gnome Lands

    Gnome country is filled with hills and forests, not to mention the omnipresent rain. Gnomish settlements come in two basic types. Hill towns are dug into the hills, with a single hatch to get in and out. Hills towns themselves are quite similar to larger versions of the prairie dog colonies back in the empire. Hill town populations rarely exceed 200, and families in Hill towns consist of two parents and their children. There are 19-20 families in the typical hill town.

    Forest towns, on the other hand, are built in forest clearings. A typical forest town consists of 15-16 families, which are organized in the same manner as Hill towns. Forest towns are more spread out, and like Hill towns the vast majority of the people here are of the common gnome culture (also known as rock gnomes).

    Their are two main gnome cultures, the majority of gnomes belonging to the common gnome culture and society. Called rock gnomes by foreigners, these gnomes make up all of the populations of Hill towns, most of the populations in Forest Towns, and Two thirds of the population of the capital city. The other major gnome culture are the Forest Gnomes, who live in isolated family groups, though very rarely Forest Gnomes will choose to live in Forest Towns.

    Gnomish Nobility

    Gnomish nobility tend to be xenophobic to an insane degree, though there are isolated exceptions. The firstborn children of nobles go on to manage their parents estates, the second born join the Steelhearted Order, and third born children usually become merchants unless on of their older siblings dies. Gnomish Nobility is, for the most part, far less accepting of pranks and other forms of chaos (and, in my experience, completely lacking of a sense of humor). The Gnomish king is elected by the nobles, and if need be, deposed by them. The people actually in charge of running the country are the members of the Keljen, Ghorn, Hollus, and Fryum families. These families effectively run their own independent kingdoms within Gnome country, though the mere existence of a king prevents all out war between them.

    Gnome Religion

    If you have ever met a gnome, you may have heard them speak of Garl Glittergold. From the way they talk of him, an outsider would conclude that Glittergold was the head of the Gnomish pantheon. This is untrue. While Glittergold may be the god most loved by the gnomish peasantry, he is not the head of the pantheon. That title belongs to Heslen Steelhearted, protector of Gnomes and bane of Kobolds. Heslen Steelhearted is paid homage to by the paladins of the Steelhearted Order, the Gnomish nobilty, and the few nonpaladin fighters th e Gnomish homeland produces. The differences between Glittergold and Steelhearted are apparent. While Gliitergold loves pranks and jokes, Stealhearted values discipline and honor. Both hate Kobolds, but while Glittergold is content to merely to toy with them and prank their gods, Stealhearted is at open war with them.

    The orgin of the hatred between the Gnomes and the Kobolds is explained by the gnomes in the legend of Garl, Heslen, and the Kobolds. While there are many versions of the legend the most common is this. One day, the day that the world was created, Garl Glittergold was exploring his new creation. One of the things he discovered were terrible things, made not by his hand, but the clawed hands of the dragons. These things were called Kobolds, and they multiplied and multiplied threatening to overrun the new creation. Glittergold saw this and attempted to solve the problem through the power of illusion, he made it appear as if a giant had it's club raised. Glittergold then told the kobolds that if they did not promise to live in peace with the Gnomes the giant would crush them with it's club. The Kobolds saw through Glittergold's trick, and raided a Gnome village in responce. Heslen saw this, and attacked the kobolds, killing most of them. It is for this reason that Steelhearted is the head of the Gnome panteon, and why the Kobolds hate the gnomes.

    The second most common version of this myth has Glittergold's trick working, but Stealhearted was not content with merely tricking the Kobolds and attacked them any way. In the violence that ensured most Kobolds lay dead and Stealhearted stole Glittergold's rightful place as head of the Gnomish pantheon.

    Gnomes also venerate a number of Saints, most of whom gained the position through military accomplishments.
    Last edited by Rob Roy; 2012-01-02 at 08:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Alright. I have officially found a reason to run around, screaming "The end is near here!", with only a loincloth and a crudely painted sign as my possessions.
    Mind=asplode from the awesome of that image.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    Please post any criticisms, comments or critiques you have. Feedback is the only way I can improve this piece of fluff on the red-headed stepchild of the DnD races. Now to finish up the gnome calender.

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    Rock Gnome Culture

    Compared to the Gnomish Nobility, and the rare forest Gnomes, Rock Gnomes are, for the most part, a people who take pride in pranks, jokes and tall tales. These are the most common gnomes, and are the gnomes most open to foreigners. When a Rock Gnome comes of age, it is tradition for them to leave home and see the world. As such, if a human sees a gnome out of their homeland, it's most likely a Rock Gnome. Around the age of 80, most Rock Gnomes give up their wanderlust, and move to the capital, hoping to do well enough to be able to buy their way into the ranks of the nobility. Unsurprisingly however, most don't and they either stay in the capital, or find a mate and move out into Hill or Forest towns to raise their children.

    Rock Gnomes, being the largest and dominant culture in the Gnomish lands, have a rich and varied cuisine. Who couldn't resist a home cooked roasted cow liver, lathered in wine, and a side of fried cockroach? Other delightful traditional Rock Gnome meals include Ghornic pies, which is a fried lamb brain inside a crust of cornbread. Not to mention dire weasel stew, which is traditional served after a successful raid on a Kobold village.

    Rock Gnomes have many holidays, and since they make a the vast majority of the population, these holidays are also national holidays in the Gnomish land.

    New Year is celebrated at the end of the Gnomish 255 day calender. It is celebrated with a feast, and every family in a Gnomish town is expected to provide food for celebration.

    Fryum's Day is the celebration of the defeat of the Kobold General Yantuuk by the Gnome Saint Fryum. On this day Gnomes are expected to go home to their families, where most of them will drink and eat dire weasel stew until they either pass out or vomit. It is celebrated on the first day of the Gnomish month Rockwall.

    Uyick Day is a day of sorrow, for it marks when the Kobold General Uyick successfully sacked the Gnomish capital. It is celebrated on the 12th of Keljen.

    Oslenhar marks the date the current king gained power. It is celebrated with parades and a speech the king gives in capital. Most Gnomes in the countryside don't celebrate it, as they have more loyalty to the local noble family, so it's mostly a thing for the Gnomes in the capital. It is celebrated on 17th of Rockwall.

    Sanator is the celebration of the end of the 9 year war, a civil war that created the current joke monarchy in the Gnomish lands, and created the Council of Four, which is made up of representatives from the four major noble families and elects the king. It is celebrated on the last day of Helken.

    Uustron marks the end of the the Siege of Uustron, and the sacking of the Kobold city of the same name. It is celebrated with a feast and lots of drinking. It is celebrated on the 15th of Heslen.

    Gurgureren marks the day that that Garl Glittergold tested the chief of the Ghorn family. It is considered Garl Glittergold's holy day, and as such is celebrated by playing pranks and showing off new illusions spells.
    Last edited by Rob Roy; 2012-01-07 at 05:20 PM.
    Awesome Rob Roy Avatar by Pink Haired August!
    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Alright. I have officially found a reason to run around, screaming "The end is near here!", with only a loincloth and a crudely painted sign as my possessions.
    Mind=asplode from the awesome of that image.
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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    If i'm reading your gnomish mythology correctly, the gnomes actually started the ongoing war between them and the kobolds? Well, either they or their gods did.
    And it seems like their society is dominated by the results of that. Half of the holidays on the calendar are holidays about remembering the kobold wars.

    A few questions about the conflict:
    Is the war still going on?
    Is it an official or unofficial war?
    What was the effect of the gnomish civil war on their conflict with the kobolds?
    Who leads the gnomish military? The (powerless) king or the 4 noble families? Or perhaps even somebody neutral in the court?

    All in all, if i'm right and the gnomes started the war themselves it would be pretty interesting. The ancestors or gods of the gnomes screwed up and they are struggling in a neverending war because of that.

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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Is the war still going on?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Is it an official or unofficial war?
    Unofficial, gnomes view killing kobolds as a basic security measure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    What was the effect of the gnomish civil war on their conflict with the kobolds?
    The kobolds took the opportunity to rebuild and fortify some of their older, culturally important settlements, build some strategic forts. It was more or less a golden age for the kobolds in the region.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Who leads the gnomish military? The (powerless) king or the 4 noble families? Or perhaps even somebody neutral in the court?
    The main military force is under the control of of the nobles families, the Stealhearted Order is ran by the non military branch of the Stealhearted church.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    All in all, if i'm right and the gnomes started the war themselves it would be pretty interesting. The ancestors or gods of the gnomes screwed up and they are struggling in a neverending war because of that.
    The gnomes see it as a preemptive strike, but yeah, the gnomes (or their gods at least) started the whole thing.
    Last edited by Rob Roy; 2012-01-04 at 01:54 PM.
    Awesome Rob Roy Avatar by Pink Haired August!
    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Alright. I have officially found a reason to run around, screaming "The end is near here!", with only a loincloth and a crudely painted sign as my possessions.
    Mind=asplode from the awesome of that image.
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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    The gnomes see it as a preemptive strike, but yeah, the gnomes (or their gods at least) started the whole thing.
    Nice, i like that.
    It seems like a very grey and grey morality conflict.

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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    Please post any comments/criticisms. Also, most of the months names are heavily altered Danish words that I got from Google Translate, so if anyone reading this speaks Danish, well accuracy toward the language wasn't a priority when coming up with names.

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    The Gnome calender is divided into 15 months of 17 days each. This calender isn't a solar or lunar calender, but rather a religious one. According to the gnomes, this calender represents the transcendental movement of the outer planes in relation to the material plane. This calender is used to track holidays and other culturally important events, and a solar calender used for determining harvests and other events related to actual survival. They have used many solar calenders in their long history, but the most recent one appears to be taken from the regular Imperial* calender.

    This the Gnomish Calender.

    • Ulvemunden
    • Keljen
    • Helken
    • Dodslange
    • Skorjot
    • Snavsbi
    • Rothstead
    • Kobalbun
    • Helgin
    • Rockwall
    • Sratenhoth
    • Gudnunths
    • Stjaole
    • Smedlen
    • Arondun


    *Gregorian

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Nice, i like that.
    It seems like a very grey and grey morality conflict.
    Thanks, that what I was going for.

    EDIT
    Anyone have any ideas for more holidays to fill out the calender?
    Last edited by Rob Roy; 2012-01-04 at 05:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Alright. I have officially found a reason to run around, screaming "The end is near here!", with only a loincloth and a crudely painted sign as my possessions.
    Mind=asplode from the awesome of that image.
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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    A small, lesser-known holiday celebrating a rather large and elaborate prank that Garl Glittergold pulled on someone? (Kobold god, gnome god, current king at the time, ect. ect.). It would be celebrated in a very similar fashion to modern-day April Fools Day.
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    I have known some cats in my day, but never one that could maintain Exalted feats.
    Yohalles, the Wanderer
    Lonel, Gentleman Luck
    Jongo, God of Sea-Life

    Thankyou Raven for the brain-bleach worthy avatar.

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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hipho View Post
    A small, lesser-known holiday celebrating a rather large and elaborate prank that Garl Glittergold pulled on someone? (Kobold god, gnome god, current king at the time, ect. ect.). It would be celebrated in a very similar fashion to modern-day April Fools Day.
    Modified and added. What I ended up doing could be considered a prank if you consider sicking an illusionary pack of wolves on someone to be a prank.

    The Story of Gurgureren
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    This is that story of Gurgureren, transcribed by me, though I omitted several unimportant details. It was told to me blind poet in a small tavern in Fryum territory (This same Gnome also told me that Gurgureren loosely translates to "What an idiot"). There are bound to be many regional variants to this story. The story also tells the mythic origins of the 9 Year War, though the wars actual origins are well documented and can be found at later on in this book, or in the Holy Library in the Gnomish capital.

    In the days before the civil war, Chief Kobet of the Ghorn family was traveling from his fiefs our great capital city. With him he had many pounds of food and an iron to give to as tribute to to the wise king. As they traveled down the road he saw the figure of a kindly old gnome, with gold skin and eyes like gemstones. He wore the simple attire of a farmer, with a brown cloak and hood casting a shadow down his face.

    The old man yelled "Stranger, would you let a sick old man to the capital with you? The doctor says that I may die soon, I have a skin condition you see, and I would like to see my sons and daughter one last time before I pass on. It's not contagious, I assure you, kind Sir.

    Kobet spat and said "Do you know who you are speaking to old man? I am Kobet, chief of the glorious and eternal Ghorn family. I have no time for the common rabble. Had you asked this of me in my lands I would have you killed!"

    "Sir, have you no compassion, no goodness in your heart? I am just an old man, I would not inconvenience you in the slightest if you would just let me ride with you" the gold skinned man said.

    "You would do well to leave old man, unless you want to know what my sword tastes like!"

    The old man lifted his hood, and all could see that his eyes weren't just like gemstones, they were gemstones. "Well then Kobet of the family Ghorn, you will truly deserve the events to come." With that the old man faded in the mist.

    Kobet thought nothing of the old mans cryptic responses, and informed his men that anyone speaking of this event would be reprimanded upon their return to his fief. They continued along the road, until sunrise, when they could see the walls of the capital before them. When the sun rose, Kobet's men saw a pack of wolves run toward their wagons, though Kobet himself saw nothing. The men panicked and attempted to fight off the wolves, though Kobet just saw them attacking the air. His men scattered, and in the panic knocked over a a lantern. It fell onto the wagon that was carrying Kobet's tribute, setting it on fire. Kobet screamed at his men, demanding that they put out the fire, but they just continued to run from wolves that weren't really there. Kobet had no choice but to walk to the capital, and go before the King without any tribute in hand. He told his story to the king, who declared him a liar and ordered that he be executed. This enraged the rest of the Ghorn, who announced that they would not acknowledge the authority of the King any longer. The rest of the noble houses seceded, a long war was fought, and so ends the story of the greatest divine prank, or punishment, in generations.
    Last edited by Rob Roy; 2012-01-07 at 05:38 PM.
    Awesome Rob Roy Avatar by Pink Haired August!
    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Alright. I have officially found a reason to run around, screaming "The end is near here!", with only a loincloth and a crudely painted sign as my possessions.
    Mind=asplode from the awesome of that image.
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    Default Re: What Is A Gnome? Your Complete Guide to Gnomekind (W.I.P)

    Relationships with other Races
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    Elves
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    Relations between gnomes and elves can be strained at times, but it not overtly hostile. Elves believe that gnomes value dishonesty at every level of society, from the playful trickery of commoners to the cutthroat world of the nobilty. On the other hand, elves value Gnomish music and their artistic uses of illusion magic. Gnomes distrust elves because their millennia long life-spans and their mastery of magic makes them too similar to dragons(and the kobolds who worship them) for the vast majority of gnomes. Despite this, individual elves have gained acceptance in the gnomish lands, and until the 9 Year War, and elf served as the court magician under the king.

    Dwarves
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    Gnomes and Dwarves find kinship in one another, and are more likely to trust one another than any other race. However, the two races relationship is not perfect, with dwarves viewing the gnomes magic as a deceitful thing, and gnomes not liking the general unwillingness of dwarves to adopt new ideas and ways of thought. In the gnomes lands, immigrant dwarves are almost exclusively found in the capital city, often working as engineers, architects and weaponsmiths.

    Humans
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    Gnomes and humans know almost nothing about each other, as evidenced by the fact that this book exists. Gnomes view any traveling humans in their lands the same way they view any other foreigner, which is as an idiot to scam or a traveler who might have a couple pf stories under his or her belt. Occasionally gnomes may migrate from their homeland to the Empire, but this is a rare occurrence, and these gnomes are almost always refugees from power struggles in the nobility.

    Halflings
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    Much like humans, gnomes know almost nothing about halflings, but in general appear to be much more willing to trust them than the "big folk" as they call humans. Other than that, they are treated in much the same way as humans in the gnome lands.

    Kobolds
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    Gnomes hate kobolds. Calling a gnome a "Kobold-lover" is asking to get stabbed in the gut. Gnomes have been fighting kobolds since time immemorial, over compounded generational atrocities the races have committed against each other. The reasons the fighting started have been lost to time, and only exist today as mythology. In modern times, kobolds have began to build and grow by an unprecedented amount, most likely because of the 9 Years War and the political disunity in it's aftermath. This has caused a growing concern among the gnome populace, and fear of an actual kobold army rising again is extremely common.


    Would anyone like me to write something up about any specific area of gnome society?
    Awesome Rob Roy Avatar by Pink Haired August!
    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    Alright. I have officially found a reason to run around, screaming "The end is near here!", with only a loincloth and a crudely painted sign as my possessions.
    Mind=asplode from the awesome of that image.
    Spoiler
    Show



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