Gnomes are sentient species native to the continent of Galisea. Like their taller Elven cousins, Gnomes are believed to have a distant, but fading connection to the feywilds. Once a far more prominent race of peoples, gnomes have seen most of their civilizations go into steady decline, breaking up and collapsing, or being subsumed into ascendant societies. Of the gnomish societies that once existed throughout Galisea, only Dala-Dava, clinging to a secure fjord in the far northeast of the continent remains. Gnomish society instead mostly continues on as the clientele of powerful human or dwarven states. Gnomes have a reputation among outsiders to their cultures as being those to live in the moment and generally enjoy life. Indeed, many gnomes take on a skilled trade to create small toys and wonders which are often used to pull pranks on their compatriots. Many gnomes set off from their communities to seek out new experiences and to squeeze the thrill of danger out of every potentially deadly encounter, to bring stories back to their communities after a long and storied adventuring career.
Gnomes possess a smaller version of the same basic body type as most other sentient species in Getninia, possessing an upright body posture, two legs, two arms, and one head. Gnomes have hands with tactile fingers and opposable thumbs, traits not shared with their feet. They have two pointed ears, a nose, and two eyes on their face. Gnomes are covered in body hair over most of their body, with many growing thick beards and long locks.
Typically reaching physical maturity between the ages of 15 and 20, Gnomes can expect to live around three centuries, and rarely live longer than 400 years. Certain druidic practices and access to feywild-magic can extend a Gnomish lifespan almost indefinitely, however it is exceedingly rare rare, and most longest lived Gnomes are such due to the same methods as the other mortal races. Gnomes have small, pointed ears that stick out from their heads, and their hands and feet are dexterous and nimble. They have round faces with prominent noses and large, expressive eyes that seem to sparkle with intelligence and/or mischief. Gnomish eyes can be any color possible but white. On average, Gnomes are shorter than Dwarves, but taller than Halflings. They have a natural agility that makes them excellent climbers and acrobats, and they are known for their quick reflexes and lightning-fast movements. Their skin ranges from dark russet, reddish-brown to a warm orange, and even shades of cool gray or rich black. Most are covered in a layer of fine, soft hair on their heads. Their hair is often curly or wavy, and comes in any permutation of color, often with vibrant hues.
Gnomes often live in tight-knit clans, with each clan having its own territory, customs, and traditions. Clans might be organized around a particular trade or skill, such as tinkering, farming, or brewing, and when permitted by their ruling power, have a leader or council of elders who make decisions. The Dala-Davans, notably, are a fiercely independent people who prefer to live alone or in small, self-sufficient communities. Most live in communal villages or towns, where resources and responsibilities are shared among the community. Gnomish societies often have a strong sense of teamwork and cooperation, and place a high value on things like fairness, generosity, and mutual support. Gnomes might take turns performing tasks like farming, cooking, and repairing buildings, and might have regular meetings to discuss community issues and make decisions together.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
A people with a knack for spreading out, rarely forming nations of their own in modern times, Gnomes are found in mostly isolated communities within the Human and Dwarven worlds, with the exception of the Davan People. Gnomes can be found in the The Kingdom of Cyrenica, the Volgier League, and various Aeillan Successor States. The Davan people hold onto their independence at the fringes of the Galisean continent, in the far northeast Nirthr Peninsula.
Gnomes are often considered to be among the most highly intelligent mortals, with an average intelligence level comparable to that of the other mortal races, capable of forming complex social structures and altering their physical environment to suit their needs. With a natural curiosity that drives them, many gnomes become literate and embark on adventurous travels and explorations. Despite their great intelligence, gnomes are limited in their numbers, resources, and independence as a species. However, most Gnomish communities survive and even thrive through their strong connection to their community and surroundings. While individual gnomes may vary in their intelligence, as in any species, gnomes as a whole are generally considered to be intelligent and curious creatures with a thirst for knowledge and innovation. They are known for their quick thinking, cleverness, and inventiveness, and often excel in fields like engineering, alchemy, and magic; they possess a unique, often eccentric, sense of aesthetics, ethics, and morality. Their intelligence, combined with their small size and agility, makes them well-suited to tasks that require precision and finesse, such as tinkering with complex machinery or performing delicate surgical procedures.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Gnomes possess five basic senses sight, hearing, taste, tactile, and smell. They rely primarily on their sight to perceive the world with the other senses used noticeably less, though hearing, and smell can also be used to percieve at a distance. Gnomes have decent nightvision, underdark dwellers especially so, though some have trouble seeing in the light.
Civilization and Culture
The biggest, and only widely known Gnomish independent people are the Dala-Davans, themselves an agglomeration of human and gnomish tribes and clans, respectively. They have actively resisted outside interference, due to their isolation in the Great North from the rest of Known Civilisation. Other Gnomish communities are present in Cyrenica and Aeilla.
Average Technological Level
Many Gnomes living within the Cyrene state have taken advanatage of the access to abundant resources and technical knowledge of the Dwarven Kingdom, and have even driven some of it's development, with the development of clockwork.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Dalan is the spoken language of the independent Gnomish peoples of the Nirthr Peninsula. Most other Gnomish peoples speak the dominant language of their surroundings, with the native tongues of Gnomes living in Cyrenica, Aeilla, and elsewhere being esoteric or endangered.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Gnomes in Getninia have a unique set of cultural practices that distinguish them from other races. For example, the Dala-Davan People have a tradition of preparing elaborate meals and hosting large, festive gatherings for their extended families and neighbors.
DnD (5e) Traits:Link to D&D Beyond
- Ability Score Increase: Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
- Small Size
- Base walking speed is 25 feet.
- Proficiency in Common, any one Dwarven or Human language, and any one other language.
- Darkvision: Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
- Gnome Cunning: You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.