Polyhedral Gnomes Ethnicity in Istralar | World Anvil

Polyhedral Gnomes

You damn cubes stay out of our lives!
  The gnomish race has never been entirely sensible - as befits the descendants of fey. They are prone to obsession and fixation, to streaks of adventure, and to general unpredictability.   Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that one small group of gnomish settlers collectively developed an obsession with three-dimensional shapes. Nor that said settlers soon turned their obsession into the founding blocks of Polyhedra. Nor even that they then skipped entirely past the phase of 'diplomacy' with those who questioned their right to settle and jumped straight into fullblown warfare.   Regardless, the other nations of Iskaldhal were certainly surprised.  

Polyhedral Aggression

  Whilst war is no stranger to the many inhabitants of Iskaldhal, gnomish warfare had rarely been seen in the mountains before the Polyhedrals arrived. In their close-knit groups and with their strange trickery, magick, and engineering, the many Polyhedral tribes set about defending their new home and their honour with reckless abandon. Enemy factions would believe their foes to be dead when gnomish laughter would echo around them as the 'bodies' exploded into Living Flame. The peaceful settlements far away from the borders of Polyhedra would find strange mechanical creatures and investigate with curiosity, only for it to become a teleportation device that kidnapped the loved ones of all who would see Polyhedra burn.   This didn't make them any friends. The first native Iskaldhan settlers to make peace with the Polyhedral were, surprisingly, the dwarves of Gildómar. They saw profit in gnomish ingenuity, and reached out for a peace accord. Many other nations - despite also being on negative terms with the Gildóns - followed suit.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Follows typical Gnomish tradition - usually one to two syllables long, ending in a vowel, and made up of sharp sounds rather than a consistent flow. Maya, Fixxi, and Eyri are all examples of typical female names. Name changes are permitted, and many gnomes change their names as they grow up.

Masculine names

Similarly to the feminine names, the masculine also follow traditional Gnomish naming systems. They also use one to two syllables, but end in a consonant instead. Dizrin, Gorlek, and Zum are all examples.

Unisex names

The above name suggestions are simply guidelines. Male and female names are generally interchangeable, and single-syllable names are often ambiguous.

Family names

Family names are always derived from the shape their line fixates on. When a child reaches adulthood, they may select a change in shape. Two-dimensional shapes (and following on from that, one-dimensional, four-dimensional, and anything else that isn't three-dimensional) are forbidden.   This leads to family names such as Rhombicosidodecahedron and Octahemioctahedron. It should be noted that there is one singular exception to this rule: the Spherical, leader of Polyhedra, and their family utilise the last name of Sphere for as long as they remain part of the ruling line.


Shared customary codes and values

We haven't many rules. But you'd best follow them, outsider, or you'll learn why our other name for you lot is 'fuel'.
A healthy respect for shapes, a distrust of the fey, and a strong dislike of outsiders (whom they call 'cubes') is almost necessary to function in Polyhedral society. But above this - the need to follow the rule of the Spherical is paramount, and the Polyhedral Code is potentially their most important document.

Average technological level

One of the more technologically-advanced groups on Istralar.

Common Etiquette rules

It's considered incredibly rude to comment on another's choice of shape (in attire or name), and is avoided at all cost. Fights break out between those who don't - with these always almost being incited by an unaware outsider.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

Newborns are tattooed with their birth shape upon their left shoulder. As they grow, this tattoo is repaired and added to. When they reach adulthood, their second shape - if one is chosen - is inscribed upon their right.


Beauty Ideals

Sharp edges and clean faces (i.e. those of a shape) are considered attractive. Fashion tends to follow this, with outfits ranging from simple boxy tunics to complex interlinked shapes creating fantastic types of armour-like outfit.

Gender Ideals

Polyhedra places no value on the inherent nature of gender. Families are asked to produce a child, but lack of ability through biological means or through dislike of the idea is accepted.

Courtship Ideals

Polyhedral courtship is as elaborate as it is dangerous. Experimental machinery or other sorts of creation that offer up some form of their intended's shape are a manner of declaring interest and a manner of bonding - though the other partner must reciprocate before discussion begins. Parental approval is not involved, unlike certain other cultures.
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Header image by Callum Wale (cropped)


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