Under Feet of Clay
Depending on who you ask, gnomes are either the brilliant inventors of the greatest advances in construction in centuries, or they are the misguided tinkerers who have made life more dangerous. Regardless, these colorful and cheerful folk gladly embrace city life. Whether in magic, machine, or martial training, gnomes are constantly experimenting and notoriously perfectionists.
With skin ranging in color from pale pinks and yellows to ashen and porcelain and hair every shade from rose red to electric violet, gnomes are a colorful and cheerful bunch. Their clothing is often as eclectic as their appearance, Gnomes decorate their robes with small pieces meaningful to them. Naturally gifted with their hands, gnomes are never content to let something be. It was they who created the first crossbows, which now have spread across Calopius as a novelty that poses a real threat to the prominence of the bow.
Gnomes have an extended notion of family, branched to include teachers and treasured friends, and they are impeccable date keepers. Upon meeting a gnome for the first time, it is common to be asked one’s date of birth, favorite colors and sweets, and preferred flowers. Gladly preparing festivities for others, gnomes adore a chance to celebrate. As a gnome ages, their features do not change, but their colors become dustier and whiter. This process, called the Bleaching, is believed to come about when a gnome begins to give in to despair and fade away.
Classes: For their constant desire to improve, gnomes make natural rogues and summoners. Many dabble in the arcane, though as a rule they are rarely religious. Often dismissive of the role of spirits, gnomes care little for exploring the occult. Gnomish fighters focus on finesse and expertise over raw power, choosing weapons that will allow them to trip and befuddle their foes. While not cowardly, gnomes never take unnecessary risks in battle, preferring the heaviest armors they can wear without interfering with their abilities. Because of their pride in the crossbow, gnomes rarely use standard bows.
Classes: Gnomes are eclectic in their interests, but many pursue skilled arts and spontaneous practices in equal measure. Wizards, magi, sorcerers and summoners are all common classes for gnomes, but others will focus with tools as rogues or bards. The occult and the divine are not commonly pursued by most mainstream gnomes, as such interests are usually discouraged. Many gnomes enjoy testing their work in the field, and dabble in the ranger’s art. Though somewhat rare, gnomish fighters are familiar to many as unorthodox warriors who use strange weapons of their own design to befuddle enemies with dizzying maneuvers.
Common Male Names: Abroshtor, Bastargre, Halungalom, Krolmnite, Poshment, Zarzuket, Zatqualmie
Common Female Names: Besh, Fijit, Lini, Majet, Neji, Pai, Queck, Trig
Example Adventure Hooks:
Fijit loves to tinker, but not with machines. From a young age, she summoned minor elementals and other spirits with such ease it seemed an accident. By subtly changing her incantations, she found she could alter how the called creature manifested. Delighted at this, she found a strange primordial being malleable enough for her interest, and began changing it as she grew more powerful. Now just barely a grown woman eager to test her protean Eidolon in the world, she has left her father’s workshop to begin field experiments.
Halungalom grew up loving arena fights, watching the mighty Half-Orcs and exotic Tieflings fighting each other and wild beasts. Much to his family’s chagrin, his creative interest turned to combat with the unorthodox weapons of the gladiators. He designed a hooked hammer and trained with how to effectively use it and a net in battle. When he was old enough, he signed up for a grand melee to test his skills. The battle was a thrill without equal for the young gnome, who used his opponent’s disbelief and his own ingenuity to triumph that day. Using the prize money for better armor and equipment, Halungalom knew he had found his calling.
Besh was content to tinker with her crossbows most of her young adult life, but when an orcish raiding party penetrated far enough inland, they burned her village and destroyed her life’s work. Now dedicated to hunting down these monstrous creatures, Besh uses her final crossbow to track and hunt those orcs to keep others from losing like she did.