August 19, 2015 at 10:47 pm #2409
Gnomes are a precarious thing in the world of Lumia. When the Luminari created the prison, they inadvertently imprisoned the Gnomes (as well as a few other kinds of creatures) that belong to another plane of existence.
Gnomes originate from a plane containing only Fae, where everything is naturally vibrant and ever-shifting. They did not know until being trapped on Lumia that they could die by not seeing their curiosity filled, that their environment helped keep them ageless. The original gnomes began what is now called “the Paling”, a terrible process close in spirit to aging where the gnome begins to lose his or her vibrant color, becoming a bleak gray. Their curiosity wanes, and they eventually become nothing more than a husk of their former selves, dying shortly after.
The more pragmatic gnomes sought to reproduce, though there was not enough in Lumia to save the race. Eventually the remaining gnomes discovered they could breed with humans, which led to an exponential population growth, at the cost of it becoming easier to succumb to Paling. These gnomes tend to be a little taller than their purebred brethren, and their skin colors tend to be less exotic
Gnomes today are at a healthy population, most become scholars, bards, or wizards to keep their curiosity sated. They do not have a finite age, however the Paling is always close behind should they decide to become too comfortable and no longer feel the connection to their heritage. This can come from losing ambition, staying in one area with no plans to move forward, or even in extreme cases, settling down to have children without plans for the future.
All gnomes do go through a rite of passage known affectionally as “finding their home” where one must go out and apprentice under a native Fae of Lumia, learning from them for at least one human year. They must study and participate in whatever the Fae does, thus learning a new outlook on life rather than being comfortable in the lifestyle in which they grew. After the year is up, the future is theirs to choose, as they have become adults in their culture.
Gnomes (though they would disagree) unfortunately stand out from the usual crowd of civilized races, due to their color and outlandish behavior. Most humans, especially of nobility, find them to be a blight, something that should not be near people who make important decisions and shape the world. Elves sympathize with gnomes, knowing how long lives and an inhuman look can breed mistrust, yet tend to accept them in society since a gnome always has a good story or song on hand. Halflings look upon them with suspicion, believing their skin and hair to be an ominous sign and they are abominations of “true” races. Dwarves are perhaps the friendliest to gnomes, simply because gnomes have a skill they call “tinkering” which fascinates them, though due to the bleak monochromatic mountains they live in, most gnomes don’t live with dwarves for long periods of time.
Gnomes tend to be shorter than halflings, making them the smallest “civilized” race. Their skin is composed of bright colors, which can be monochromatic or vibrantly varied. Their eyes and hair also share the same feature, making no two gnomes (even twins) look alike. Their skin and hair colors change over time, though the reason exactly why was lost over the generations. Some say this helps combat Paling and shows the gnome is still curious, while others believe it is a sign of general age, where the Paling will be inevitable and the colors are just phases to that end.
No matter the reason, most of the gnomes still on this place can be found adventuring for a variety of reasons. Some seek a passage back to their plane, while others look to absorb knowledge and see new places. Many gnomes just enjoy the new places and cultures seen when traveling as an adventurer, knowing it sates their ever-hungry curiosity. A few gnomes do settle down, taking regular jobs within a city, though most times it is when their spouse is pregnant or just had a child, making a gnomish merchant an indefinite position.
August 19, 2015 at 10:50 pm #2410
Replace the word inhuman with uncanny. It was the word I couldn’t think of at the time of writing.
September 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm #2499
I love your description Raddo. 🙂 Makes me really glad that I chose a gnome to be a sorcerer now, it seems to fit right in with how you described them to be.
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