History of the Cronnius Imperium
During the rise of the Orbirian Empire the community of gnomes living across the wall quickly decided that their best strategy of survival was diplomacy. A full out war with a newly established technological superpower didn't seem like the smartest move, so they bargained for for rights and low taxes. As a small and very peaceful group that posed no threat, worked within the empirial laws and paid their dues, they were mostly left to their own devices. When the Lacuna hit and their opressors were wiped out, the few survivors, who had been working in the mines or living in the most covered, non-collaped parts of Deitoll took it upon themselves to rebuild their society. Being one of the quickest nations to recover from the Lacuna, they managed to take up much more territory towards the north then what was their original few mountainside cities.
As the only remaining society that had come into contact with the advanced, magic-powered technology of the Orbirian Empire, the Cronnius gnomes knew about the possibilities. A few remaining pieces were even left over to take apart, though most magical artifacts had lost their properties in the dispelling pulses of the Lacuna.
During the last two centuries, the gnomish understanding of mechanical engineering has improved massively and they have started to specalize in machinery. Their advanced guns adn cannons are key to the defence of the outern city against the beasts of the Barren Lands and the use of steam powered machines to support their mining has greatly increased their efficiency. While they trying to be be careful about it, to not give away their edge, such novel machinery is looked at both with interest and a decent amount of worry. This makes their technology highly valuable export products. Thanks to an up-and-comming high-end black market, the guns are slowly finding their way into other countries too.