Garl Glittergold made the gnomes out of gems in the ground, forever rooting the race in the materials of the earth. They have also inherited the god's sense of wonder and curiosity, as well as his delight in goodhearted trickery. The inquisitive nature of the gnomes has led them to discover many applications of both technology and magic. Unfortunately, they aren't always the best at sticking to a project and so many of their inventions are more temporary than permanent, in stark contrast to the creates of the dwarves.
Different kinds of gnomes
Forest gnomesNot all forest gnomes live in forests. It is merely a name for the genetic off-shoot of gnomes that became closer to nature and learned how to hide, rather than the ones whose interests focused more on technical exploration or magical ingenuity. Forest gnomes often explorers in nature, but build homes that last for generations. And others living nearby might not even know the gnome village is there.
Rock gnomesThese gnomes are the ones most commonly found among other races, unlike the reclusive Forest Gnomes. They are as curious as their cousins, however, if not more so. They tend to be fascinated with the material world and trying to figure out how to make it work in various ways. This means they typically end up as inventors, blacksmiths, or other professions that allow them to tinker.
SvirfneblinAlso known as deep gnomes, the svirfneblin almost exclusively live underground, especially in the Underdark, which has often led to the misconception that they are a dark reflection of gnomes , the way drow are for elves, but most are born with the same inclination towards community and happiness as other gnomes. They are, however, very adept at staying hidden - even against magical attempts to find them. This sometimes even includes shape-shifting.
A gnome is somewhere between 80 and 130 cm tall and has a proportionally large nose compared to humans. Their skin colour is usually somewhere between a dusty sand-colour and a dark leathery brown. The exceptions are svirfneblin, as their skin is a dark grey, suitable for staying hidden in the dark and rocky tunnels of the Underdark. They are often a bit more stocky, or even fat, than other gnomes, but surprisingly dextrous for being so.
Genetics and Reproduction
Their gestation time of 10 months might seem long, but it’s very little in the life of a gnome. They can normally not get pregnant again until about a year or two after giving birth. Twins are unusual but not unheard of. Triplets or more rarely all survive, unfortunately.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Gnomes are able to see in the dark to some extent, with svirfneblin being even more adapted. They also have a very strong sense for when magic is trying to interfere with their mind, making it easier for them to dodge such attempts. Forest gnomes can communicate with small animals, helping them understand the landscape around them. They can also form minor illusions to help keep themselves safe, or just play playful tricks.