Gnomes in the Floating Realms

 

gnome01aIn the next few weeks I want to put the spotlight on the races available in Unchained Heroes. Today we are going to start with the Gnomes. This section is meant to be additional content to the Gnome Race as found in the Unchained Heroes Fantasy Core Rulebook. It will give you a better picture of the Gnomes in the Floating Realms. If you have some other way of playing them in your campaign setting, by all means, stick with that.

In the Unchained Heroes universe, the Gnomes are one of the Terrestrial Races, making them fashioned from the elemental “stuff” of the universe. In the case of the Gnomes, they are heavily based on the Water Element, which is the element of creation and invention. It stands to reason that this would be part of their nature and it is. They are the most prolific inventors in the universe of the Floating Realms, having created Konkret, sky rises that touch the clouds, and airships that can be powered without Float Stones called Zeppelins.

The Gnomish people are short, ranging from 3 feet to 3 ½ feet tall. Their bodies are well proportioned with slightly stockier frames. Their hair colors range from shockingly platinum blonde to rich auburns and deep browns. Even young Gnomes can go naturally gray or white at anytime. A Gnome’s eyes are usually bright blue in color, but varying shades of blue and green can be found. Their intelligent faces are round with prominent noses, large eyes, and wide smiles.

The home realm of the Gnomes is the Floating Realm of Peloria, the former domain of the great Magi Pelor. Pelor was a Magi that sought knowledge for knowledge’s sake. She did not discriminate between good and evil, all knowledge and paths to knowledge were her purview. She was a necromancer and a healer, created magical golems and mechanical automatons. She had no boundaries and respected no one’s boundaries. The Gnomes were her subjects. She lavished them with her gifts as well as subjected them to her horrors. They lived for close to 2000 years under her yoke and her powers–like all the Magi–shaped the world around her. The Gnomes handled living with her well, except when she wanted to make them part of her experiments. Of all Magi, though, she most closely matched their temperament and lifestyles, with her quest for knowledge.

Their Secret

Gnomes are the race of knowledge as well as invention. The Controller Gods blessed them with the Archives which hold the sum of all knowledge of Veerith. The Archives reside in another dimension, but the only entrance is found within their Great Library. Entrance into the Archives was always denied to Pelor and enforced by powerful divine guardians or she truly would have become a God to rival the Controller Gods above. Within the Archives, thousands of Scribes right down all that is happening in the world around them, under the oversight of the Archivist. The Scribes and the Archivist have almost godlike powers of observations bestowed upon them by the Controller Gods. Being chosen for the Archives is one of the highest callings of the Gnomes. The Scribes are specially selected and trained individuals that become vessels of divine energy allowing them to transcribe events at an astounding rate. As the world becomes more full of life and events, their numbers grow. When the question is asked, “If a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it?” The gnomes can answer with a firm yes, as the Scribes have both seen, heard, and recorded it. In the history of the Floating Realms, there are only two people to have entered the Archives without being destroyed, the Planeswalking brothers Theoden and Damien Kayden. The Gnomes still hold great respect for Damien and his use of the knowledge he found within the Archives.

Their Society

Gnomes are a strong social democracy, almost utopian in practice. They formed it shortly after the heavy boot of Pelor was lifted from their necks. She may have been “pleasant” by some standards, but there is no denying that she was a tyrant and her golem and automatons were feared like no other. A unique feature, gesture, or clothing would be all it took for Pelor to take notice of you and deem you a test subject. If you were lucky, you got to be in her control groups and made it out alive. They never wanted that tyranny again, so they made a strong representative government and have banned the creation of golems and automatons on Pelor. Since it has been so long since Pelor ruled over them, some of their social democracy is crumbling as the younger gnomes that did not live under her rule are not reminded of the hardships that were faced by their parents and grandparents. The Great Library holds this knowledge and is within their grasp to learn from the past, but as with all youth, much of the past is left behind while looking into the future.

Gnomish society is incredibly egalitarian, but highly structured and specialized. There are multitudes of tasks that need to be performed and your aptitude for performing and solving these tasks is rated and then compared to a scale. You can be anything you want to be, but if a Gnome chooses to do something they are not “designed for” they face an uphill battle among their peers. The common perception of the halls of academy that people are experts in a narrow field of study is a fact among the Gnomes. The gnomes define and then refine their areas of study to the point where you might need multiple experts to understand the full picture on a subject. Talk airships and you will have to have experts on propulsion, buoyancy, float stone lift, and material composition just to give you an idea on how they float. The gnomes that can piece multiple areas together are often accorded the highest honors. They have a unifying theory on the Cosmos, that connects all the various areas of study. Unfortunately, explaining this theory would take far too long for anyone without the enthusiasm and patience of a gnome, so we will skip that here. A gnome will probably snort at you in disgust if you simply summed it up by saying, “All things are connected,” but it would be a very good starting point for their theory.

Where many people would consider Technology explainable phenomena and Magic unexplainable, Gnomes make no such claims. They believe everything can be understood based on its base elements. They do like to make a distinction between the Technology and Magic however. Technology is the process of using physical objects to build a device that performs an action or actions specified by the intent of the creator. Technology does not come from thin air, it requires planning, preparation, and construction. Technologists are known as Slicers. Magic is the process of triggering phenomena without physical objects; they use magical energy and are shaped by intent. Imagination, mindset, and will are paramount to one that creates magical constructs. Magicians are known as Benders. In summary, Slicers make their creations out of physical objects, while Benders fashion their creations out of the invisible mana currents.

Their Interactions

The Gnomes are very interested in the binary components of life and usually look at from this angle, but this does not mean they treat the experiences with the same mindset. They are incredibly open-minded to all sides of disputes, arguments, and conflicts, making them excellent negotiators. They are known to send Slicers (those adept in technology) and Benders (those adept in magic) to evaluate the situations, analyze the various forces and use that to help them come to a solution. A Gnomish Delegation sent to settle a dispute is usually only a last resort method however, since rarely do two sides in a conflict truly want their motivations laid bare for others to evaluate and see.

Overall the Gnomes are the most diverse, knowledgeable, intelligent, resilient, and high functioning of all the races of the Floating Realms. It is not that the other races are not capable of these things, but that the Gnomes foster this environment more so than anyone else. Peloria is the melting pot of the Floating Realms, brought forth in no small part to the contribution of these great people.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *