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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 Yaruga inhabits the Tir Tochair mountain range.[7] Some gnomes also used to reside on Mount Cremora as evidenced by the Citadel, the mountain fortress they built there, but by the 1240s it was already in possession of the mage Ortolan who made it his laboratory.[8]

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

Appearance Edit

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]

Culture Edit

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]

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,[10] leading to speculation that their religion advocates peace over war. This religion might also be connected with their advanced alchemy, especially where sephirot, artifacts said to be the ten elements of the Tree of Life, are involved.[11]

In fact, there's no such thing as "gnome army" in Tir Tochair.[4]

Personality Edit

Gnome RPG

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 the Northern Wars, 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".[12]

Notable gnomes Edit

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

Part-gnomes Edit

The Witcher Edit

Glossary entry Edit

Gnomes

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.

Source Edit

The World of the Witcher Edit

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

Notes Edit

  • 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 Ceasless 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.

References Edit