Gnomes (book)

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The Gnomes
by Kaev Neir

As their rich history began a long time ago, the Gnomes have always relished their place in the world. Standing solid among the people around them, the Gnomes have been a fruitful and kind-hearted race, living to help their fellow souls. Their innate nature to tinker and invent has helped many people in the world, though at times their inventions have been used to destroy and conquer.

As most know, the Gnomes are small folk, standing about two feet tall on average. This makes the Gnomes one of the smallest conscious beings known throughout the realms, and has also made the Gnomes always feel quite special about who they are. They are proud of their height, and do not see it as a disability but more as an advantage. Many people have ridiculed them for their height for centuries, but the Gnomes have learned to laugh along with the jokes, knowing that they are a small and proud race. In fact, the smaller they are, the more revered and acknowledged they are among their people.

Throughout their fruitful and long lives they spend most of their time tinkering, inventing, studying, traveling, and collecting gems and other beautiful items for the beauty they exude. While a Gnome's life span usually brings them to a ripe old age of 175-195 years old, it still feels like a short life for them. If they could, they would extend their lives forever, because then they would be able to accomplish everything they could ever dream of.

Gnomic society tends not to be very complex in essence. The government of the most well-known group of Gnomes, the Cip'uja Clan, consists of a royal family that is currently under the rule of King Benpar IV and is also partially controlled by an elected group of officials called the Renz'par. The Renz'par assist in passing laws and bringing the voice of the people to the King. In the past thousands of years, they have successfully ruled with this government and have had little trouble.

Despite the clan, all Gnomes have a close-knit family structure. The importance of the family is bred into every Gnome from a young age, and in almost every household, you'll find several generations living together. Most Gnome families have relatively few children, and in most cases, the children remain with the parents until they've found a mate -- at that point, a new family is begun.

Community and reliance upon one another are important traits to the Gnomic people. Most Gnomes, particularly Tloticuc and Cip'uja, hold frequent feasts and celebrations throughout the whole village, as that sense of interaction with other Gnomes is important to the people. Likewise, weddings, births, and deaths are affairs for the entire village to take part in.

Traditionally the fashion styles of the Gnome obviously varies from one to another, but in general the womenfolk tend to like earth-toned colors and no nonsense clothing, while the men like bright clothing in flashy colors. When it comes to jewelry and other fine accessories, any Gnome would be pleased to garnish themselves with it. They tend to regard each other's place and statue in society by the quality of their gems and jewelry.

The Gnomic Clans

Cip'uja Gnomes

The Cip'uja Clan is one of the more populous of the Gnomic race, and many of the Gnomes that journeyed northward to Kermoria with the Kaldar were of this clan. Countless ages ago, the Cip'uja were taken in by the Luethra race, and they became a part of the Endian Nation. The Cip'uja based their form of governance upon the Luethra, and they later passed this form of government in turn to several of the other clans. The Cip'uja dwelled on the grassy plains of southern Albaria, and along its rocky beach coastlines.

The people of this clan are ingenius and inventive, and learned much during their existence as part of Endia in terms of alchemy and tinkering. The Cip'uja are practical, yet kind hearted. They don't put as much stock into the superstitious as some of the other Gnomes do, but this isn't to say that they don't have some of their own folkish beliefs. The Cip'uja are a festive people, holding frequent celebrations and parades (often For No Reason at all!), and though they've never really trusted the Gorbesh, the race that defeated their former teachers, they're very open to outsiders.

Tloticuc Gnomes

The Tloticuc Gnomes are at one with the forest. They dwell in the forested areas of the Gorbesh Empire, and because of their mutual love of wilderness, the Tloticuc Gnomes are the closest of all Gnomes in kinship with the Kaldar. However, they are also close to the Gorbesh themselves, having been taken in by the Gorbesh. While the Opirks and Cip'uja remain independent, self-governed entities within the physical bounds of the Empire, the Tloticuc have become full-fledged citizens, much like the Iyqaromos. These people are very shy and do not typically like much contact with the outside world -- not out of dislike, but merely out of a sort of timidity. Once one enters their graces and becomes known to the Tloticuc, that person is always welcome at their campfires and feasts. This clan does not have the need and love of gems, instead they have a love for anything in nature. To them a pinecone is more valuable than any gem. The Tloticuc are wanderers, rarely staying in one place for too long -- for them, it is important to travel and experience all the ever-changing beauty that the wilderness has to offer.

Bosueq Gnomes

This clan is mysterious and very little is known about them even among the Gnome scholars. They have darker tinted skin and rumor has it that they live deep underground in the southwest region of Albaria -- within the Mist Region, ruled by the Ocular. The land of the Bosueq Gnomes was conquered by the Ocular during the early wars after the fall of Endia, and it was then that they were driven underground in order to survive. While many doubt the Bosueq live after being isolated for all this time, still others claim that clues exist showing unarguably that these Gnomes are still thriving.

Opirks Gnomes

The Gnomes of the Opirks Clan, like those of Cip'uja, are self-governed yet living within the physical territory of the Gorbesh Empire. Long ago, it became clear that the Gnomes alone did not have the strength to resist the Ocular, so the Gorbesh granted portions of its land to several of the Gnomic groups to give them protection. The Gnomes are the only non-violent race respected by the Gorbesh, so the Gorbesh refused to war with them -- those Gnomes that did not want to be parts of the Empire were given free-rule and independence, with the understanding that the Gorbesh would still offer the safety from the shapeshifters.

The Opirks are the most serious of all the Gnome Clans, though that does not mean they don't have their levity -- it is just that, due to what they consider the serious nature of their work, they feel they don't have as much time for relaxation and merriment. But on those instances where they do have festivals, it is said the Opirks celebrate harder than any other Gnome. This clan has never produced many with a knack for technology and invention, like some of the other Gnome Clans, but the Opirks have still demonstrated a gift with applying those inventions. They are excellent miners, and they apply Gnomic inventions to make their work very efficient. Despite their seriousness, the Opirks are very friendly and open to outsiders. They also conduct considerable trade with the Gorbesh.

Iyqaromos Gnomes

The Iyqaromos are also known as the "Ancient Beloved." They were quick to ally with the Gorbesh; few are quite certain why, but they felt a certain kinship with them. The Iyqaromos embraced the Gorbesh language and religion, and entered the Empire as full citizens. The Gorbesh, in turn, honored the Iyqaromos -- these Gnomes are highly respected and cherished in Gorbesh society, both for their roles as prophets and as inventors. The Iyqaromos have an inventive knack matched only by that of the Cip'uja, but where the Cip'uja generally disdain superstition, it is a central part of Iyqaromos life. Religion, magic, alchemy, and astrology are all very important to the Iyqaromos, which in part explains why they field so many prophets for the Empire.

Sruhos va Tlo'oe

Like the Bosueq Gnomes, little is known about the Sruhos va Tlo'oe and what they were like. Their name meaning "Orphans of War" is very accurate, for this clan was completely wiped out by the Ocular.