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The syúupërtrúujpër is a hydraulically and magically powered gnomish musical instrument that must be worn and operated by two gnomes. It combines several different types of instruments to create a walking band capable of playing complex melody, harmony, and rhythm at loud volumes.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

The base of the syúupërtrúujpër is built on a reinforced äychífut frame. The äychífut is a pair of conical brass instruments similar to hunting horns, mounted at the side of the body to rotate back and forth, and attached to a pair of hydraulic boots. Each step the user takes wearing the boots blows air forcefully through the corresponding horn. The bottom of the two gnomes in the syúupërtrúujpër wears the äychífut frame on their legs, then straps a rotating wheel of four to seven toms to their chest. The äychífut frame is reinforced with metal (usually brass, though high-end models use mithril) so that it can support the weight of a second "upper gnome," who sits on the first ("lower") gnome's shoulders.   The upper gnome of the syúupërtrúujpër can fill a variety of roles. Some hooks their feet to a lever on the set of toms, allowing them to switch the position of the toms and take over some of the weight burden from the lower gnome. Others wear jyígnòl-jyägnòl, a set of small silver bells strung together into decorative pants often seen in the elaborate jyägnòlsjtemmpi dances of the foothills of the Impossible Mountains. (Due to the difficulty of coordinating bell sounds and drum switching, it is incredibly rare for a syúupërtrúujpër to incorporate both.) The upper gnome can then play any handheld stringed instrument; common options include the lute, banjo and vjóla-da-vjïnki.   The pièce-de-resistánce of the syúupërtrúujpër, and the symbol often used as shorthand for the instrument in art, theater, and other media, is its elaborate helmet, worn by the upper gnome. The helmet is made of resonant, instrument-quality woods, metals, and ceramics, and it fully encloses and encompasses the upper gnome's head. The faceplate of the helmet is often decorated creatively, with designs ranging from oni and dragon faces to parody caricatures of legendary heroes and famous politicians and celebrities. Instead of ears, however, it sprouts three trumpet bells, facing to the left, right, and back side of the helmet. When the upper gnome of the syúupërtrúujpër sings, their voice echoes within the helmet and is amplified by the three "horns" of the device.

Manufacturing process

It takes well over 1,200 hours of work to make a syúupërtrúujpër. The process is a labor of love often embarked upon by multiple luthiers in collaboration, with the performers the syúupërtrúujpër is intended for often working in close consultation with the instrument's makers.


The syúupërtrúujpër is a beloved staple of parades and public festivals in the gnomish world. It is widely respected and almost revered within gnomish culture, due to the laborious craftsmanship and intensely difficult coordination required to perform on it. Virtuosic syúupërtrúujpër crews, such as Hjütee and the Blø̈hajj, can quickly become beloved celebrities who can draw enormous, devoted crowds to anywhere they perform.
Item type
Musical Instrument
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