The Courtship Traditions of Gnomes Tradition / Ritual in Erisdaire | World Anvil

The Courtship Traditions of Gnomes

"You know, I really wish I understood why these joint projects are taken so seriously. Every time I cast doubt on the outcome, gnomes get positively frigid in response."
— Tohm Feldspar, Stone Artisan
Gnomes are already seen as a rather odd people, but their courtship and wedding traditions are puzzling to outsiders. This is partially due to it resembling something different than the traditions in other cultures. For what it resembles to outsiders is more a research collaboration than anything else. The wedding always seems more sedate than most cultures, excepting of course frontier weddings which generally are quick gatherings before everyone returns to their tasks.
Generally speaking, the culture of gnomes from the Moonblood Isles is simple and focused on their love of study and discovery. For them, the world is an interesting puzzle to be solved one detail at a time, or full of challenges which can be conquered so long as the right tools and procedures are discovered. The courtship embraces this idea, in the form of collaboration to discover both something neither of the two gnomes would investigate alone and learning much about each other and whether the future would be amenable if the two were together.


When two gnomes decide to seek courtship, they meet and discuss what projects they have been working on or completed. After comparing notes, they decide on something which either is an overlap of their specialties or is a refinement of something they've both worked on in common. After deciding on a course of action, they work in each others' workshops (normally a cultural taboo), and present their joint project when it is finished. Roughly a third of these collaborations actually produce something functional, but it is less about whether the project is a success and more about whether the two gnomes work well together. After all, if they can manage to stand each others' style of work and minor quirks then living together should be possible.
Once this courtship is finished, the wedding involves the families planning a small feast. Along the same time, the two gnomes will work on a more artistic presentation dedicated to their union. When all is done, a date is set for the ceremony which includes oaths and vows designed by the couple. Following this, the newly married couple build their own workshop and household and may even acquire new tools and equipment for future collaborative projects.


With the focus of the courtship being so finely focused, these matters are usually done in the homelands of gnomes and not often abroad. In the last few generations, gnomes living among other races have cultivated a few variations which manage to exhibit a similar theme while being decidedly non-traditional.


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