Here is where I talk about my dislike of gnomes. Here is where I talk about designing fantasy races. Now, I’m going to let Matt Harris and the rest of my readers know what decisions I’ve made about gnomes in my world of Rilmorn.
After much debate with myself, I have come to the following decisions about Gnomes in my campaign world, Rillmorn. 1. Gnomes are not historically native to Rillmorn. 2. A single mixed community of gnomes exists on Rillmorn. It is located near the town of Duvamil (The fact that the 5E PHB list “Duvamil” as a female gnomish name is coincidental. Duvamil has existed in Rilmorn since 3E, when I ran my Sanderzani campaign.) 3. Gmomes are a clan of dwarves caught, enslaved, and experimented upon by Fomorians, giants from the Fey Realm. 4. Gnomes have close ties to Elemental Earth and are somehow related to the elemental creatures Salamanders, Sylphs, and Undines; fire, air, and water, respectively. Having made these decisions, I will now attempt to explain how I got to them. (2014.10.02)
Number 1 is simply based on the fact that from March 1980 A.D. until August 2014 A.D. there were no gnomes in Rillmorn. I had never used them. I never allowed them to be played. There were no gnomes.
Number 2 is based on the background that I gave Christina and Nicki when they were creating their characters. They are from the gnome warren Featherstone. The warren of Featherstone was founded by refugees from the world of Terah, after the gnomes’ homelands were destroyed by the forces from the Caves of Chaos. It is located northeast of Duvamil (a village known for being the intersection of the paths of Bazarene the Traveling City and forest giants’ tree city, The Walking Wood, and the site of a great mill located on the Zagreb River – sometimes when a bag of flour or meal from this mill is opened, a large, 9” long dove feather is found in the bag). (2014.10.02)
Number 3 is based on the backstory of the dwarves and gnomes from 4E. In 4E, dwarves were created by the gods. Giants were created by the primordials and the titans. The giants enslaved the dwarves for an uncounted age, before the race revolted and escaped. In the Feywild, Fomorians (faery counterparts to the giants) enslaved the gnomes (fey versions of dwarves), until many of the gnomes escaped. Since Rillmorn existed long before 4E and I had no history of the giants enslaving the dwarves, I ignored that backstory. Now, for the gnomes, I have decided that gnomes were one of the clans of dwarves (there is recorded Rillmorn history for clans of dwarves that have become “sub-races”) and that they were enslaved by the Fomorians. Uncounted generations of gnomes were the slaves, pets, and experimental subjects of the Formorians and over the ages, the gnomes changed from the dwarves they were to the gnomes they are today. Eventually, the gnomes were freed when the Fomorians were forced to flee their enemies the Tuatha. The freed gnomes spread out of the Fey Realm to uncounted worlds, but not Rillmorn…until now. (2014.10.02)
Number 4 is my desire to make gnomes decidedly different than dwarves. Azer are fire dwarves. They have strong elemental nature, so what makes them different than gnomes, who have a strong earth elemental nature. Azer are not related to Paracelsus’ other three elemental types; gnomes are.
Now, we shall see how gnomes play out in my games.