Gazetteer – 03a10 – Gnomes
Gnomes are faerie creatures. They do not have their own rune. In fact, they have no runes at all. They are creatures of pure essence. If you cast a detect illusion spell at a faerie creature, the creature will disappear, except that it will still be there and you just gave it a form of invisibility.
Most faeries (including most gnomes) are solely NPCs, but gold gnomes and deep gnomes are an exception. These gnomes have formed communities with a somewhat comprehensible society for the rest of the races. The reason is due to some unknown attachment to the stasis rune these creatures have that makes them much less flighty than their faerie kin (but still very flighty). They also don’t steal children like many of their brethren and a gold gnome is a good one to consult if another faerie has done so. They will often join the hunt to retrieve the poor lost child.
There is no form of gnomish undead and it is possible that gnomes never really die at all. To kill a gnome may mean to banish it back to faerie. When wounded by weapons, a gnome bleeds a sparkling gold powder. Healing magic tends to work on gnomes, but the spell effect is different as the gnome seems to absorb the words of the spell as opposed to benefit from the spell effect. A paladins healing ability does not work unless he also makes a perform check to accompany the magic with verse. Bard healing adds 1 hit point to each die when healing a gnome.
Gold gnomes resemble dashing dwarves with a twinkle in their eye and an easy smile. Their beards are neat and their hair is styled. Female gold gnomes are feminine and do not have beards like female dwarves do. Gold gnomes have innate magical abilities that allow them to always look presentable. Clean, comb, wash, dry and straighten are all things they can do with a simple wave of their hand. In game play, a gold gnome can cast any wizard cantrip regardless of class or training.
Names are very important to gold gnomes and they give them out very rarely. Instead they usually use aliases like Amber Popinjay who is a gnome female known throughout Wheland for her Popinjay Honey.
Gold gnomes hate ogres and hags and will seek to kill them on sight. Other than this peculiarity, gnomes tend to be fairly non-violent and will gain as much satisfaction painting a smiley face on an adversary’s back as driving a sword through him.
Gold gnomes also hate attempts by other races to study and understand the ins and outs of gnomedom – even elves. More than one elf with a faerie-related otheri has found stinkweed in her pipe tobacco or a floating pie in the face at a fancy banquet.
Since essence is essentially the underlying grammar of the book of creation, gold gnomes are exceptionally adept with literary forms – particularly poetry. They can speak in verse at will and have a +5 racial bonus to linguistics roles, perform checks, and spellcraft checks based on their gift with language.
Deep gnomes are not flashy like their gold gnome cousins. They have gray skin and no hair except for eyebrows; females also have eyelashes. They dress in drab colors, but contrast the drabness with flashy design. Where the gold gnomes are like living flowery poems, deep gnomes are more like dark, little secrets. Their favored form of verse is riddles and they’ve been known to stump dragons and sphinxes when playing a riddle game.
In Oklos, deep gnomes seem driven to resurrect the earth beast that Jukal slew when drowning the creatures of chaos. The reason for this is unknown, but does cause a bit of concern to clerics of Atlas who don’t know what this would mean for their god. Goblins also war with these creatures due to some slight from the past – perhaps the goblins didn’t keep a secret – or perhaps the deep gnomes kept too many secrets. Neither race is particularly violent except when confronted by the other but then it is all-out war.