Gnome Lands (Zyanya Supplement)
From D&D Wiki
- 1 Specific Nations
- 2 History
- 3 Commonalities
- 4 Religion
- 5 Organizations
- 6 In the World
- 7 Character Creation Info
Talin is the greatest gnomish city. Indeed, it may be the only gnomish community that can be termed a city. It is their capital, and the area where most diplomacy takes place. Talin is also unique as it is built almost entirely above ground.
The gnomes are a peaceful race, but will not accept domination by other races. When the nation of Basira tried to take over the gnomes, the gnomes responded by inventing the race known as the warforged to serve as their military. Since that time, no one has tried to declare war on the gnomes, finding it much easier to deal with them through diplomacy. The gnomes have manumitted the warforged, but continue to offer them positions in their communities. New warforged are still occasionally crafted, usually at the request of other warforged to simulate families. Many warforged still consider themselves soldiers of the gnomish lands, even if they also have other work. This is not to say the gnomes are pacifists. It’s just most feel they have better things to do with their time then fight a silly war. There are gnomes that serve as guild guards, and as the ice gnomes live in a more brutal land, many of them are trained in combat as a simple matter of survival. Most gnomes just simply don’t choose to fight unless other avenues have first been exhausted.
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Of all peoples, the gnomish economy is the most stable. Their currency is considered the ‘standard’ for the purposes of money changing and trade. Their technology level and ability to sell all manner of finished goods means they are never without trade partners. True poverty is virtually unknown among the gnomes, and they enjoy a generally high standard of living. Most gnomish communities are build underground. Gnomes just seem more comfortable that way.
Each city is lead by a mayor, elected by the locals. The mayors and the guildmasters assemble every ten years to elect the governor. The governor’s power is rather limited. Indeed, until the gnomes started dealing with other peoples, they never bothered electing anyone more than a mayor. However, diplomacy occasionally necessitated a centralized area of power, and thus the position of governor was created. The governor does not rule the gnomes, he simply represents the gnomes to the world. True governing is done on a local level. A typical gnome community is 400-500 gnomes, generally with a couple dozen warforged thrown in. The exception to this is the gnomish city of Talin.
Though the gnomes have never bothered to argue with the elves about it, they consider themselves the oldest non-dragon race. Indeed, their written history does predate that of the elves. They tend however, not to get involved in the doings of other beings and have a very neutral outlook on life. Though they are not truly xenophobic, they do prefer to live away from the other races. Even if they live in the same area, they will form small communities of their own kind. They see the other races as wasting time with their petty squabbles when they could be doing something to improve the world around them. The gnomes are an inventive race, and have raised metallurgy to a fine art. Sure, a dwarf can make a hammer that may last longer, but a gnome can build a machine that will wield the hammer for him. The gnomish outlook on life requires a balanced view of the world. They consider themselves basically good people, but acknowledge that even the best machine can be put to evil uses. Good and evil are both necessary, one must exist to encounter the other. Gnomes deal with violence among themselves by ostracizing those engaging in it. As gnomes have a strong sense of community, family, and guild loyalty, shunning is a horrible crime. Gnomes do not have the same work ethic dwarves do in craftsmanship. Dwarves, being the dour sort they are, approach the task of smelting and crafting as a duty. Gnomes see it as equally work and play, and thus are an industrious people. They do love a good prank, and their skill at illusion magic is often put to that purpose. Secrecy is considered a bit of a necessity, especially where those of other races are involved. (Gnomes are said to be the original inventors of the lock) No self-respecting gnome will teach the trade secrets of their guild to just anyone, especially those of the alchemy, fireworks, explosive, weapon, and engineering guilds. The exception is the warforged, whom the gnomes see as a part of their people.
Most magical items available to the more common sort of folk today are of gnomish craftsmanship. While the dwarves and elves craft weapons of legendary power and staffs of majestic might or whatever, the gnomes are more prone to craft items that are actually useful, such as cloaks that keep a person warm in the coldest weather, or potions that cure ills. Most gnomish magic lies in their crafting, though they seem to have a knack for illusionary magic. A few, especially those hailing from the more eastern areas, display a talent for psionics. Most gnomish spell-casters are artificers or clerics. Some gnomes have picked up the Elvish modes of magic (wizardry) and a few display an inborn talent towards Dragon magic (sorcery), and most communities boast a bardic guild. Gnomes prefer a bit more elemental magic. Other sorts of casters are rare enough to be almost unheard of.
Being a prosperous people, gnomish festivals are quite amazing, and they have what they call a gather on a monthly basis. A gather is usually an excuse for several gnomish communities to get together to peddle their wares, show off new inventions and artwork, and make new friends. Performances, feasts, and competitions are all part of a gather.
The Festival of Knowledge, Invention, Artifice, and Teaching
(known affectionately as 'Gnome Day' in Shieldmeet) This festival is held every four years. It is considered THE place to show off new inventions. This is also the celebration where young gnomes choose their guilds. The celebration lasts for an entire week, and for the past 50 years, has been held in Shieldmeet. Even the non-gnomes get involved, with such displays as Onatah's new breeds of horses, Sclavini carnivals, Elven magicks, Dwarven Crafts, and something from every corner of the world.
Education is an important part of Gnomish society. All children are given a general education until their 20th year, at which time they are encouraged a guild to apprentice. A gnome then goes through the ranks of apprentice, journeyman, and if they so choose, master. A very few stop at the apprentice level. Apprentice gnomes may change guilds, but it is virtually unheard of for anyone of journeyman rank or above to do so. It can be said that the guilds are gnomish society. Every gnome is a member of a guild, from the cooks guild to the homemakers guild to the philosophers guild to the engineering guild to the artficer’s guild. A family can run to a single guild for generations, or have members in all sorts of guilds. Oddly, marrying within a guild is frowned upon, as a more balanced viewpoint is encouraged in all gnomes.
All the gnomish gods are considered equal to each other (for game purposes, consider all to be intermediate deities) Only worship of the god Kasuyomeyinup is frowned upon, and shrines to him are forbidden in gnomish communities. Still, from time to time he does manage to tempt a gnome into his service with his honeyed words and false promises of a fast track to knowledge.
In the World
The gnomes have no enemies per say, though they do find some peoples (like the Itotia and the Sclavini) to be hard to fathom. They get along very well with the dwarves, and not so well with the goblins. Amareth is trying very hard to forge an alliance with the gnomes, recognizing that gnomish technology would give them an edge.
Gnomes are encouraged to learn of other cultures, and to learn at least one other language than gnomish and common.
Gnomes in Shieldmeet
The gnomes control one of the harbor islands as well as the lighthouse. Though they have their own community, they get along well with the others in Shieldmeet. Their representative is Lady Scilla, who also happens to be guildmistress of the artificer’s guild. The gnomes consider it their responsibility to keep the lighthouse (and thus the harbor itself) in good working order. They have three Inns in the city of Shieldmeet, the Engineer’s Inn, the Elixir and the Cup, and the Sword and Potion. The Sword and Potion is the only gnomish inn that encourages non-gnomish clientele, though the Elixir and the Cup does have accommodations that fit the larger folk.
Character Creation Info
Deft Hands, Nimble Fingers, Spell Hand, Burrow Friend (Forest Gnome), Combat Tinkering, Elemental Focus, Mercantile Background, Education, Arcane Schooling, Artist, Magic in the Blood, Silver Palm, Smooth Talk, Gift of Tongues, Metallurgy, Research, Haggler,
Alchemy Blade, Battlepick – Gnome, Blade-Retractable, Blunderbuss, Bomb, Calculus – Gnome, Chain and Dagger, Crossbow – Any, Dagger, Dart, Fan – War, Fingerblade, Hammer – Gnome Hooked, Hammer – Light, Handaxe, Javelin – Spinning, Mancatcher, Musket, Mace, Pick, Pistol, Quickrazor – Gnome, Smokebomb, Sword – Short, Sword Cane, Swordcatcher – Gnome, Tortoise blade – Gnome,