Tales of Verimitha
Gnomes are three feet tall, have light tan to brown skin and generally have light colored hair. They do tend to color their hair bright colors so it is not unusual to see gnomes with bright green, yellow, or purple hair. They usually settle in to their adult life around age 40 and live to be three to five hundred years.
There are three known sub-races of gnomes: forest gnomes, city gnomes, and rock gnomes.
Also known as tinker gnomes, city gnomes (as their name suggests) live in large cities. City gnomes put their energetic and curious nature towards technology as as such their cities are some of the most advanced in the realm. To anyone but a city gnome the myriad of gears and steam pipes seem to placed around the city in abundance at random, they are used to power all sorts of things in the city.
Like their dwarven cousins, city gnomes make their homes mostly underground, though their cities tend to be much more airy than a typical dwarven city. While dwarves tend to dig their cities from the rocks deep beneath mountains, city gnomes tend to use hills and are usually much closer to the surface, with many windows and skylights where possible allowing for much more greenery in their habitats. Where windows are not practical, gnomes have been known to use mirrors to bring sunlight down to even the deepest areas of their cities. Often times visitors to gnomish cities will not realize when they’ve left above ground common areas and ventured into underground areas.
While the typical notion of a city gnome is that of the tinkerer, city gnomes are known to put their insatiable curiosity to good use in other endeavors as well. Mechagaagan, for example, houses some of the most learned wizards in the realm and has made nearly as many magical discoveries as the famed Melf’s Magical Academy in Barrynfrost.
Forest gnomes live a solitary existence, preferring to spend their time either alone of in small family groups far from the noise and bustle of civilized settlements. Most forest gnomes are fairly nomadic, moving hoping to explore as much of the wilderness as their long lives allow. A few do settle down, making homes in small hills or amidst the tops of trees. These small settlements only ever consist of a few small families and tend to only last a few hundred years at most, as the restless curiosity at the heart of all gnomes assures that most of the children raised in these villages will move on rather than continue as part of the group.
In the past, forest gnomes would meet every 100 years at The Lelywyn Forest. Not all could make it every meeting, but for most it was a matter not only tradition, but survival. At the Lelymeet the gnomes would share stories of what they had found in their travels, helping to keep others away from potential danger. This was also the best time for forest gnomes to not only find a mate, but for mates to reconnect if they’ve traveled separately. Forest gnomes mate for life, but only after the pairing has been blessed by the priests of Lelywyn. It was also traditional for any forest gnomes born between Lelymeets to be presented before the gathered gnomes.
Unfortunately, a great wizard, now known as The Whispering Tyrant, used the Lelymeet to bargain with Orcus for lichdom. During the last gathering, the gnomes were beset by a great horde of undead unleashed by The Whispering Tyrant. Many forest gnomes were slain, or worse, became undead minions of The Whispering Tyrant. Since then, forest gnomes have become even more reclusive than they were before, with many thinking that the race may soon be extinct.
Rock gnomes, also know as deep gnomes or dark gnomes, are a sub-race of gnomes that makes their homes deep in the realm of the underdark. While still almost invariably good like other gnomes, rock gnomes are are a surly and cynical people. They take great pains to hide their cities and only very rarely have any dealings with anyone outside of their dark homes. Rock gnomes tend to have brown to dark grey skin and grey or white hair, usually kept short. Elder males have been known to grow great beards and it’s believed that a male’s beard is a representation of their position within rock gnome culture. Because of their incredibly distrusting nature, little else is known about them.