From Istaria Lexica
The Gnomes of Istaria perhaps best represent the future of where Istaria and the Living Races are headed. While they are not typically known as dedicated practitioners of the arcane, they are the race of beings that seem to be taking the forces of magic in new and previously unknown directions - the path of technology. Gnomes are extremely adept at shaping and binding the forces of magic for the purpose of powering great and exotic machinery and devices. Gnomes also strive to bridge the gap that exists between the realms of magic and technology. A defining trait of Gnomish society is their overall dedication to the forces of industriousness and creation. Many Gnomes fill many roles and functions within Istarian society, and perform well in many different areas of study and focus. They strive to keep excellent relations with all other societies in Istaria; they are one of the strongest proponents of the new-found unity amongst the Living Races.
Gnomes also seem to have an innate desire to form organizations, councils, committees, and institutions. One of the more prominent institutions formed by Gnomes after the loss of their homeland was the New Rachival Research Institute. This infamous organization has dedicated itself to the study of all things magical or unknown, from the nature of the elements, to the study of the Blight, the effects of the Ritual of Everlasting Life, and many other topics. Though membership to the Institute is not limited solely to Gnomes, they do make up a majority of its constituents.
Physically, Gnomes are roughly as tall as Dwarves, though usually less broad across the shoulders. There is no denying, however, that they share many physical features with their Dwarven cousins. Gnomes are not by nature burly, but their frames do support a wide range of physical characteristics, from brawny to portly. Their heads seem to be just slightly larger proportionally than the rest of their body is; this sometimes give Gnomes a comical look about them, often coupled with the general appearance of bewilderment and excitement that make up the typical Gnome countenance. Both males and females have a wide variety of eye and hair colors, though most of their skin tone is of a light, fair hue.
While Gnomes are not as strong as most of the other Living Races, they make up for it in their solid dexterity and their gifted power and focus. Gnomes make excellent spell casters and scholarly tradespeople, and also make for fine Scouts.
The history of the Gnomian people is one that is shrouded in mystery. It is possible that they arrived or rose up with the Dwarves millennia ago or that the people mentioned by Nelthorr during his travels were not the Dwarves, but in fact the Gnomes. But the fact remains that the history of the Gnomish people, much like the history of the Elves, is now lost or fragmented due to the sundering of their homeland. The Gnomes themselves do not speak of it, except to say that they will one day reclaim their homeland and their history will once again be known to all.
The racial city of New Rachival is home to the Gnomes.
Spoken Phrases, Utterings, Prayers and Curses
- Crumblies - A mild expression of annoyance. Derives from the occasions when everything you've been working on crumbles into useless pieces - again and again and again. Ex: "Oh, crumblies.". This saying is a recent addition to Istarian Gnomes.
- Entropy – Reference to the tendency of systems to lose energy over time. Often used as a mild expletive. Ex: "Ah, entropy! That gear stripped again!"
- The second step – From an old gnome joke: "The premise is fine and the conclusion is fine. It’s the second step that’s broken". Indicates poor planning, faulty logic, or bad decisions. Can also express hope that a miracle might occur. Ex: "I’m going to ask her out and hope that solves for the second step."
- This isn't portal science - An assertion that the issue at hand is not complicated or difficult to comprehend. Ex "If you like him, just hit him with your spanner, drag him into the transmitter compartment, and give him a full-contact circuit check. This isn't portal science."
- Transpatial requisition – Acquiring something in an unauthorized or illegal manner. Ex: "Technically I don’t have the clearance level to see these plans, but I did have a transpatial requisition form handy."