The World of Valeria: Annals of the Third Era
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Gnomes, or the “Forgotten Folk” as they were sometimes known, were small humanoids known for their eccentric sense of humor, inquisitiveness, and engineering prowess. Having had few overt influences on the world’s history but many small and unseen ones, gnomes were often overlooked by the powers that be, despite their craftiness and affinity for illusion magic.
Often living far from the other civilized peoples of Valeria, gnomes don the mantle as protectors of nature or curious inventors. Gnomes assume roles as druids of the wilderness or master tinkerers who are the creators of a large number of the world’s magical artifacts.
Often mistaken as halflings by men and dwarves as the small folk are all, “curious and wee.”
Gnomes have a deep passion for love, life, and friendship. Gnomes are naturally witty and jovial, and they prefer to overcome obstacles through cunning and innovation rather than the obvious way. Ever curious, gnomes are drawn to adventure more often by a desire to see the world or to do good than out of greed or the hope of fame like Men and Dwarves. It is this curiosity, along with their cunning and witty repartee, that made gnomes both entertaining friends and adept spellcasters and scholars.
Their deep passions and cheerful demeanors have a large impact on their interactions with one another and other folk. There is a particular focus on the holding of hands with Gnomes. Gnomes are likely to be outwardly expressive to their friends and loved ones with hugs or reassuring gestures, but to hold hands with a Gnome is really quite the serious matter. You see, from a Gnome’s perspective, their hands represent that which they are able to do. They work, they eat, they help, they create, and they love with their hands. Their hands are an extension of them physically and very much so spiritually. To take a Gnomes hands in yours is to hold them and their heart. As a Gnome, to willingly let another take your hand in theirs is to give oneself or one’s own heart to them. To surrender your safety and security in another, for you know you can find that in them. Whether this is an act of friendship, trust, or love – a Gnome is literally putting themselves and all their vulnerabilities into your hands at that moment.
Gnomes generally live in burrows and dug-out homes akin to those used by badgers, foxes, or rabbits and as such are fond of these small animals, feeling a sense of natural kinship with them. And, like these animals, Gnomes have an aversion to danger that makes them naturally inclined to hide away if they were able and many Gnomish homes were carefully hidden by magic or other methods.