Gnomes (or as they call themselves, the Noldor) are a small race that has a reputation for illusions and trickery, and a love of forested hills in the northern half of Kementari. Settlements are primarily agricultural, with each family having their own garden, and maybe some livestock. There is a significant amount of hunting and gathering that occurs as well. The settlements are rural, with no cities or towns, but having many small villages close together. Each immediate family lives in their own dwelling, which tends to be well hidden and camouflaged. Clusters of dwellings form a village, but this can be hard to detect. With sufficient warning on the behalf of the Noldor, humans can walk through a large Noldor settlement and never know it. Gardens are not near the homes, and fields are not near the village, as the village is usually in the forest proper, and the fields just outside the treeline. Other races may know that the Noldor are in the area, but finding exactly where is another matter entirely. Most Noldor consider Anaherukuru to be their patron. There is also a reverence for Anaherube, though this is not discussed much around Humans, as most humans consider The Trickster to be a minor demon.
Anatomy & Morphology
Noldor are anthropomorphic in appearance, averaging three to four feet tall. There is more sexual dimorphism than in humans, with the males tending to be larger and to have prominent noses. The average lifespan is about six times that of a human. The male to female ratio is about five to four.
There is only one population.
Ecology and Habitats
Noldor strongly prefer underground dwellings in areas of wooded hills.
Noldor political organization is similar to Halflings, with a village council made up of elders that decides political issues. However, unlike Halflings, Noldor that disagree with a village council have been known to pack up their family and leave the village, often starting a new settlement with like-minded Noldor. Noldor have no political structure of their own above the village, and usually integrate into the local political structure at that level (provided the local lord can find them).
Geographic Origin and Distribution
There are approximately 12,500 Nolder scattered across the northern parts of Kementari. The majority of settlements are in Formendor and Romendor, with some settlements in the Kingdom of Khazadbar and the Kingdom of Callenand, and a few settlements in Løseden, Tolken, the Kingdom of Tolpereth, and the Kalenish Principalities. These settlements are small villages, usually under the protection of or closely allied with other demi-humans in the area.
Civilization and Culture
Average Technological Level
Noldor have reached a late medieval level of technology.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Noldor tend to be secretive by nature, and this want of privacy has placed a value on the ability to disguise, camouflage, hide, and misdirect. Noldor share a love of craftsmanship with the Dwarves, so there are necessary craftsmen in each area who are usually quite skilled, but they do not create works for the sake of creating as the Dwarves do. In addition, the Noldor love of hiding, misdirection, disguise, and camouflage tends to manifest itself in a love of illusions and sleight-of-hand. Couple this with their love of craftsmanship, and the result is a love of practical jokes as well. Most of these are harmless, but if Noldor feel threatened, these “jokes” can become very deadly, very quickly. Noldor also have more of a respect for nature, similar to Elves, but not as extensive. Noldor are said to have had a nation many generations ago. The legendary state was called Noldorheim (literally Home of the Gnomes). It was said to have been crushed by human expansion and ever since that time the Noldor have been scattered, with no level of government above the village. The Noldor typically settled in similar settlements to Halflings, assimilating into whatever political structure held control over an area. This lasted until the Church of Aner declared their patron to be a minor demon called the The Trickster. Anerians started persecuting the Noldor and caused them to flee into dense forests and other remote areas. The Noldor maintain the best relationship with Elves, who often agreed to shelter Noldor communities in their forests. While there has not been a serious persecution recently, the Noldor have been left as a justifiably paranoid people. The general the Noldoran response to a crisis is to disappear for a little while and wait it out. This is a strategy that has worked well for them during their people’s times of suffering. The Noldor have the highest magical birth rate of any known race, and have developed the magical schools of Illusion and Enchantment to very high levels. The Noldor also have the strongest tradition of SpellSingers. Where Wizards are magic sensitives that attempt to manipulate The Arcane Weave directly, and Sorcerers are rare magic sensitives able to channel their own arcane presence through The Weave to achieve their desired effects, SpellSingers follow a school of magic that works to harmonize their own aura with The Weave to indirectly cause their desired outcome (To use a very poor analogy- Wizards command the magic around them to do something. Sorcerers use their own magic to do something. Spellsingers ask the magic around them to please do something. It is the author’s hope that he is not turned into a newt by a Magister upset with this in adequate analogy). SpellSingers are so named because music is often used as a sort of meditation focus for their magic. Some people theorize that due to the lack of Dwarven and Elven SpellSinger traditions, until after landing in Kementari, that the Noldor might have invented SpellSong without Draconic influence, but this theory is considered ridiculous by most Magisters. The Noldor also have a very different artifice tradition from Dwarves . While Dwarves are famous for magic items with permanent effects from ancient times, the Noldor have a strong tradition of Wand making, and other such charged items. They also have a large potion brewing tradition. Furthermore, many large Noldor settlements may have a illusion circle. While not capable of doing anything by itself, the large standing stone circle set around the settlement allows SpellSingers to join together in a song and convince anyone going nearby that there is NOT a community there, and they should just keep moving around it. The Wise speculate that the Noldor are a distant kin of Halflings, as they share a similar stature and build and close homelands. The main physical differences being the longer Noldoran noses, pointed Halfling ears, and rugged Halfling feet. However Nolduran shares almost no similarities to ancient Kuduk. In fact, as near as scholars can tell, ancient Nolduran shares no ancestry with ANY other language. It is read right to left and uses a complex symbolic character set, with over 3,000 different symbols having been identified from ancient texts. Some students of the arcane have theorized that this particular language may have been designed for the writing of spell scrolls rather than real speech- as many of its runes might be capable of channeling an arcane charge with the right ink formula. But many other scholars scoff at the idea of spell scrolls not rooted in pure draconic runes. Modern Nolduran is still read right to left, but uses a phonetic character set, with 32 different characters.
- Scientific Name
- Homo Timidus
- Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
- They have brown skin, ranging from a light tan to a woody brown. Their eyes are some shade of blue. Hair color is usually black or brown, with blondes being a rare occurrence.
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