Tenari Ethnicity in Niorath | World Anvil


The Tenari people remind me a lot of the nation where I originated from. Their focus on the pure technological and artistic ideals is praiseworthy. However, this did not save them from a violent nation such as the Raitin. At some point someone will start to use technology to increase their own power instead of using it for good. It is the hope of every scientist that their invention escapes this fate, but alas it seldom does.
— Yamaderis
  One of the nations that the Raitin conquered was the country Tenas, which belonged to the Tenari Gnomes. Although they have been under Raitin control for more than three centuries their culture has still remained very much alive.   They are mostly known for their superior clockworks which blur the line between art and technology. Many of these techniques were later incorperated by the Raitin for military purposes but the original purpose of the clockworks is still kept alive by the Tenari people. These clockworks are really sought after by other nations but given the current tensions of the Raitin and the other nations it is very difficult to procure them.  

Extra Information

The Tenari people can be found in Northern part of Oneraga, south of the Crystal Valley.
Their original country was called Tenas before it was conquered by the Raitin
Tenari Region by Kefkejaco with Inkarnate
Ruled by
The Raitin are the current rulers of the Tenari Gnomes for more than three centuries.




What the real origins of the Tenari was is rather unknown but historians believe that their ancestors originally came from Southern Oneraga. The Tenari are the descendants of the people who settled in the northern Halishi river region. Some of them, however, most likely continued the migration north and settled in the Crystal Valley. The Raitin are believed to be descendants of this second group.  

Gnome Migrations

  What caused the original Gnome migrations is still a topic heavily debated by historians. Some believe it could have been related to wars in Southern Oneraga while others believe it to have been some kind of magical disaster that caused them to flee north. The exact timeframe is also an unknown variable but it is assumed the migration happened around the start of the Avaronian Era.
Yamaderis misplaced this image by Kefkjaco with heroforge



  The current Tenari are mostly known for one thing, clockworks. They are assumed to be the first nation to be able to work small gears into all kinds of technological novelties. One of the main exports from the period when they started creating these kind of devices is of course the clocks themselves.   To this day the Tenari are still considered to be the master clockmakers and every rich individual was very keen to get one of Tenari manufacturing. The prices for them have only skyrocketed during and after the war between the Raitin and the Pavan Empire.  
Raitin Clockwork by Pixabay
Peacock Clock by James Cox
Clockwork toy by By Wizards of the Coast


Eventually the Tenari started using their clockwork abilities for more advanced devices which created the first automatons. These were often even combined with the clocks they made. The most beautiful and elaborate example of this is the Royal Garden Clock which has a large array of different animals and plants worked into its design. Every hour all of these automatons move creating quite the spectacle in the process. This clock currently resides in the Pavan Imperial Palace.   Later on other automatons were created that were not linked to clocks themselves. These were often used for toys that had a limited ability to move. These kind of devices remained the main export of the Tenari Gnomes for a very long time.  


  At some point however, mainly under pressure of the Raitin after they had conquered the Tenari Gnomes, new uses were introduced. At first it resulted mainly in the use of Elemental Crystals, Falls, as a powersource for the clockworks. The first clockwork servants did not come long after that.   However, once the Raitin resumed their war efforts the focus was shifted and many Tenari engineers were forced to move to the Raitin capital to aid in the war effort. Near the end of the war the first clockwork war golems were being rolled out. Not shortly after a truce with the Pavan Empire was signed and the golems did not yet play a major role in the war. But during the years following the war the amount of golems has been increased which makes other nations be on their guard since they fear the Raitin might use them in a new war somewhere in the near future.  
Those clockwork golems are a painful reminder of my past work. I wanted to make golems purely for facilitating mining operations and limiting the amount of deaths. But just like what happened with the Tenari my creations were used for other things in the end.   I do wonder how many death were the result of my work. Luckily I was not there to witness it. The same will perhaps not apply to those poor Tenari.
— Yamaderis

Cover image: by Worldanvil


Author's Notes

Later on I will likely expand this article further. As of now only the culture related to the clockworks is present but of course there is more to the Tenari than that.

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Jul 5, 2021 15:55

That was a great story. The quotes at the beginning and at the end really helped the article come together.   PS: The container "GNOME MIGRATIONS" has a font colour & background combo which makes it hard to read.

Jul 6, 2021 08:38

Thanks for the kind words ^^ Ah shame will see if I can change the colors a bit. Thanks for pointing it out

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Jul 5, 2021 20:12 by Tim Day

Love the tension between the artistry and its application in war. The quotes really help that sink in. Nice work.

Jul 6, 2021 08:38

Thank you! :D Yes I wanted to make it a theme for this article so glad it came across ^^

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Jul 6, 2021 17:09 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Great article, I love those automaton and golem technology, and all starting from the clocks. This is very cool :D Is there any reason why the Ratlin are not learning/stealing those technique rather than stay dependent upon the Tenari? Are the devices made with some magic specific to them? Seems like an important weakness otherwise...

To see what I am up to: my Summer Camp 2024.
Jul 6, 2021 17:13

Thanks ^^ Oh yes they have stolen that tech actually and have teached it to their own engineers they have just used an original bunch of Tenari engineers to come up with it.The Raitin though use it less for art so that part however stays a bit the specialty of the Tenari :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Jul 27, 2021 12:44 by AS Lindsey (Pan)

Fantastic article. Nothing like war to completely ruin the original intent of an invention. Any inspiration from Eberron's warforged here, maybe?   Also, "they are under Raitin control for..." would read better as "they have been under Raitin control for..." :)

Jul 31, 2021 10:39

Thank you for the kind words ^^   I certainly used Eberron for inspiration for creating my world :) I think that is a very cool setting. Will make that change! Thanks for the heads up :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Dec 1, 2022 11:42 by Sailing Ocelot

I like the first quote "At some point someone will start to use technology to increase their own power instead of using it for good. It is the hope of every scientist that their invention escapes this fate, but alas it seldom does", its very telling.   These poor people. I wonder how they managed to maintain their culture under the rule of Raitin? I feel curious about what lesser known ideals/cultural matters they have, that might be potentially hidden from the Raitin!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot