Gwenash

For as long as history exists, the Gwenash are at the heart of Gnomish society. Most other or subcultures are a derivative of the Gwenash in one way or another, since it has been the main Gnomish ethnicity. They started out small near the rivers, lakes, and meadows of <park name here>. Nowadays, they have spread far and wide throughout the entire world, bringing along with them heaps of technology and innovation.  
There be no Gnome without Tinkering, for Gnomes are Tinkerers
— Text from the Holy Manual of the Master Tinkerer
 

Technology & Innovation

The gnomes of Gwenash cannot do without technology. Gnireknit, their primary religion, gives them the philosophy that no Gnomish life is complete without tinkering. Therefore, it sits at the heart of their society and even goes as far as defining the social class structure.  

To The Top

Simply put, all gnomes work one way or another on technology and innovation. Depending on what a gnome does exactly and what they have accomplished, they obtain a place somewhere on the social ladder. Based on this social ladder and the work a gnome has done before, they can obtain projects to work on or funding for their innovations to take it to a next step.   If a gnome creates something that impacts the community in a large and positive way, they shoot to the top of the ladder. They gain access to more funds to continue their work on their innovation, automatically get senior gnomes to look at their designs and help out to refine the product even further, making it better in the process. Many doors open, which is why so many gnomes are aiming for that perfect innovation. It is rarely obtained, however, leading many gnomes into a burnout from being overworked.   Of course, these innovations can also go the other way around if it has a negative impact. These inventors tumble nearly to the bottom and will have trouble working their way back up. It is hard, but not impossible, as many preceding gnomish inventors have shown before.  
"Dad, what's that guy doing?" A young gnome points at a blacksmiths workshop where a bulky gnome is hammering the metal.
The dad huffs and spits on the ground.
"That, my boy, is a blacksmith," the dad explains in a bitter tone.
"What's wrong with that?"
"Everything, my boy. Everything. As the Holy Manual tells us, we are tinkerers. We should work on technology! Innovate things to better our society and the world! We shouldn't do these mundane and ridiculous tasks. Let me tell you something, my boy. Do not pursue anything other than tinkering, or society will spit upon you."
While saying those last words, dad spits on the ground again and grabs his son by the arm to drag him away.
 

Tech Savvy

However, there are gnomes that fall off this technology bandwagon. Some don't have the patience to innovate, others don't have the knack for technology on the same level as their peers. These gnomes are regarded "second grade" by society and they will have a hard time. However, they can redeem some of that by working with technology to provide fellow gnomes with goods.   All gnomes have basic needs to be met, such as food and quality items for their innovations. In the early days, when their relationship with other races wasn't as good as it is now, the gnomes had to rely upon the less tech savvy of their kind to make sure these needs are met. Nowadays, they are heavily looked down upon.  

Law and Enforcement

A most unique feature to Gwenash society is the law system. Since they are too busy with tinkering and coming up with new ideas, no gnome has time to be a politician and argue about seemingly mundane things all day. Instead, they use a gift from the Master Tinkerer to come up with laws for them.  

Homestead

Meet Homestead. They can be seen as an AI, of sorts. They have been with the Gwenash since time immemorial and the gnomes don't know any better. Legends say that Homestead is a gift bestowed upon them by the Master Tinkerer to allow the gnomes to focus on their passion for technology and innovations.   Gnomes can input a problem into Homestead. In turn, the AI will churn and output one or multiple solutions to the given problem. Automatically, Homestead sends the problem with the solutions to the voting devices of all gnomes within its reach. The message contains a reference numbers for the solutions also. Gnomes can read through the problem and solutions and vote for their preferred option through the same voting device.   The voting device is a relatively simple unit. It has a printing part for the messages sent by Homestead, a numpad, and three buttons: agree, disagree, and neutral. A gnome can vote on a solution by using the reference number as the input variable. After they typed it with the numpad, they can press one of the three buttons to make their vote. The device sends this data back to Homestead.   Once Homestead receives the threshold amount of votes within a given time period for a specific problem, it will calculate which solution is the most preferred solution by the community. That solution will then be integrated as a law or a rule within society.   If a problem doesn't meet the threshold, it is kept in an active archive for 30 days. If someone else inputs a similar question, Homestead can send the same solutions it had given the previous time. If nothing happens after those 30 days, the problem with its solution is stored in a passive archive as a record.
Problem RefNo: 165316406101
Problem Description: Trash stays in the streets and isn't thrown away properly.

Solution RefNo: 16531640610101
Solution Description: Place trash cans for people to throw their trash there.

Solution RefNo: 16531640610102
Solution Description: Use trash robots to clean up the streets.

Solution RefNo: 16531640610103
Solution Description: Punish those littering.
— Homestead message example
 

Stewies

Of course, there is no use in having laws and rule without people to actually enforce them. Therefore, the Gwenash have a police force whom they call "Stewies".   Stewies are usually gnomes that have no affinity with technology and innovations, making them outcasts in society. As stewards of Homestead, they gain a little respect from the other gnomes. They see it as indirectly performing the tasks of the Master Tinkerer through Homestead.   This police force makes sure that all the Gwenash gnomes adhere to the rules made by Homestead. They also make travellers and tourists comply to an adjusted and more compact version of this ruleset. While they are small in size, they are not to be underestimated because strength does come in numbers.  

Pilgrimage

While Gwenash society is heavily influenced by technology and innovation, they do deem it important that gnomes should be able to stand strong and defend themselves. Therefore, they have introduced a pilgrimage eons ago that serves as a coming-of-age ritual.   Once a gnome has finished its growth stages and is physically developed, they start with figuring out what kind of technology they like to work with and specialise in that. Once they feel confident that they can contribute to society, they are allowed to do so with the "young adult pass". It basically means that whatever they do has a lower value, because they haven't proven yet that they are strong enough to carry the weight of the community.   For that, there is the pilgrimage. A gnome sets off for a 5 year long adventure (or longer) where they have to fend for themselves. The goal is to bring back something of value for society. The form can differ; it can be a new piece of tech from another culture, a new kind of material, a philosophy. As long as it can contribute to the improvement of society, it is accepted.   Most often, a gnome undertakes this pilgrimage between the age of 70 and 100. During this pilgrimage, the resolve of the gnome is put to the test. Enduring 5 years alone is quite harsh. Therefore, gnomes are allowed to travel in pre-approved parties. However, these parties always end up splitting, or a gnome joins another party entirely. The approval is more of a notion, rather than something society actually enforces because why would you?


Cover image: Hesli Banner by ShadowPhoenix
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