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Gnomes are an old and noble race, one of the Elder Races, which came to be the first to populate the northern part of the Continent. They are related to dwarves with whom they peacefully coexist.

In the Northern Kingdoms, many gnomes live in Mahakam alongside dwarves,[6] while the majority of those south of the Yaruga inhabit the Tir Tochair mountain range.[7] Few other gnomish former settlements can be found throughout the realms e.g. the Citadel on Mount Cremora[8] and an abandoned underground town beneath the modern-day Maribor.[3]

They are gifted alchemists, jewelers, smiths, and metallurgists known for making swords of the highest quality.


A. A. Kalkstein, an alchemist rumored to be of gnomish origin due to physical and mental traits.

Gnomes are shorter and weaker than dwarves, but just as resilient and more agile. They are easily distinguished from dwarves and halflings by their more slender shape of a body, exceptionally long noses[1] and pointed teeth.[9]

Another defining factor is a beard. Unlike dwarves who always have beards, gnomes either cut theirs short or don't have them at all. Even an exceptionally large and strong gnome with a well-groomed beard cannot be confused for a dwarf because of aforementioned noses which are twice as long as those of other races.[5]


Their society is similar to dwarven clan structures,[5] though apparently less authoritarian, resembling large communes led by people's assemblies and respected individuals.[3]

Gnomes are reported to be peculiarly hated by kobolds and are in constant state of war with them in some areas.[10] Hearing fuss in the deep, Mahakaman gnomes are able to evaluate whether the trouble is caused by kobolds or not.[4] Members of the gnomish race inhabiting Tir Tochair seems to have less problems as they don't have an army.[4]

Religion and magic[]

Little is known about gnomish religion apart from the fact it allowed some of the gnomes, including Percival Schuttenbach, to avoid conscription by claiming a religious exemption.[11] Gnomes once worshipped a deity similiar to Melitele, in that they worshipped a goddess of harvest and fertility.[2] It is speculated that they worship some deity prefering joint work for the common good over pointless fighting.[12] When it comes to death, they appear to follow the tradition of cremating their dead. However, it's unknown if this was done for practical purposes, part of their religion, or something else.[13]

Certain areas of the gnomish culture resolve around their advanced alchemy. The Tree of Life seems to be based on the ten Sephirot artifacts – or the other way around.[14]

The use of magic seems to be rather uncommon trait for gnomes, but not impossible. Some individuals are said to know a broad range of counter-spells.[15] Some of otherworldly gnomish burglars are known to utilize the Invisibility spell in order to be unseen by non-magic folk,[16] but it is unknown whether the Continental gnomish burglars do so as well.


Gnomish inventor hard at work

Known to be extraordinarily clever, gnomes excel as smiths and metallurgists and use ancient techniques, patterns and methods to create superb weapons. Their most famous creation – gwyhyr – was considered the best sword in the world.[7] Another profession typical of them is a miner.[6]

Gnomish communities live in human cities as well, where their members work as jewelers, artisans, and pawnbrokers. Immature gnomes often work as gofers and office boys for dwarven banks. Some gnomes, on the other hand, tend to prefer less reputable ways of life and become burglars or highwaymen.[2] During Northern War II, a few gnomes became upset by the Nordling prejudice and joined the Scoia'tael as a result.[6]

They are also quite fun-loving, which is indicated by a saying "stir up trouble like a tipsy gnome".[17]

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Notable Gnomes[]

For a full list of gnomes, see Category:Gnomes.


The Witcher[]

Glossary Entry[]


Gnomes are secretive and mysterious. Most of them live in Mahakam and are allied with the dwarves; they seldom interact with humans. Gnomes are talented craftsmen, miners and inventors. Their technology is superior to that of humans, and gnome weapons can be equalled by no others. They are also considered the eldest race on the continent.


The World of the Witcher[]

Gnomes, though shorter than dwarves and not as strong, are equally resistant to hardship and much more agile. This ancient and noble race is characterized by their long, pointy noses, in which they take great pride ... Like dwarves, they. love their handiwork, and are particularly adept at the arts of the metallurgist, the armorer, the jeweler, and the goldsmith. Not many, however, elect to ply their trade beyqnd their native lands, since their grand mastery, and the profits which it brings, 'inevitably becomes the object of envy and thus human aversion, which ends in slander at best and pogroms at worst.

Reverend Jarre of Ellander the Elder
The Truthful Description of the Elder Races


  • Gnomes also feature in other works of Andrzej Sapkowski. In The Eye of Yrrhedes role-playing game they are peculiarly hated by kobolds and in a constant state of war with them. Two gnomish burglars appear briefly in Chapter 7 of The Ceaseless Light novel, the third part of his Hussite Trilogy.
  • In The Witcher, if one does not count Kalkstein who is speculated to be part-gnome, they aren't present although there are posters advertising "Schuttenbach Jewellers" scattered on the walls in Vizima.