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a complete list of Caecern world design articles.
Gnomes are the basatrd children of D&D races. Their stats aren't
favourable for any particular class, nor are thier natural abilities.
D&D 3.5 at least gives them a usable favoured class. The addition of
the bard favoured class finally gave me a niche idea for gnomes,
In Caecern, the Gnomes live in the gentle hills and rocky fjords along
the southern and western coast of the Dragath Fol region (an area
known to contain more than normal magical energy). As such, they
control most of the trade between the people of Dragath Fol and the
Seven Kingdoms. The Gnomish Lands of Brenaddin are surrounded by a
veil of llusion, both on land and sea, so that without a Gnomish guide,
traders, invaders and the like will find themselves turned around and
heading back the way they came.
Gnomes in Caecern are magical creatures by nature. This manifests in
the combination of illusion and their new favoured class of bard. The
Gnomes are natural musicians. The Veil around Brenaddin is
maintained by the Earthsong; the gnomes sing more or less constantly,
and a part of thier singing is devoted to maintaining the magic that
protects them. The Elven word for gnome translates roughly as
"earthsinger". Given thier height, gnomes generally have high voices,
so a gnomish choir sounds similar to a choir of young humans; some
humans find the image of tiny bearded men singing soprano a little
unsettling, but the sound of gnomish song is highly valued by lovers
Gnomes live in burrows cut into hillsides, or in short homes with
well-developed underground portions, often with unfinished areas and
branching tunnels. Gnomes have developed agriculture, relying heavily
on root vegetables and mushrooms. Gnomes tend to clear as little
forest as possible for farmland, and often leave trees standing
surrounding thier homes.
Outside of Brenaddin, the most frequent occupations for gnomes
are diplomat, spy and entertainer - often some combination of the
three. It's common to find gnomes in the northern coast of the Seven
Kingdoms, as any ship planning to trade to the north needs a gnomish
guide to navigate the Veil.
While the image they present to the world is one of small, harmlessly
amusing singers, gnomes can be deadly serious when it comes to
protecting thier homeland. They keep track of politics in the Seven
Kingdoms and Dragath Fol, and their enemies have a way of being
removed silently and invisibly.