Tir Tochair is a scarcely inhabited mountain range that divides the Korath desert from the modern-day northern and central provinces of the Nilfgaardian Empire. It is known as the largest lasting enclave of gnomes.
According to 13th century historians, gnomish outposts in Tir Tochair were already established when the dwarves arrived in these lands between 3rd and 2nd millenium BR. The meeting of the two races was described as surprisingly peaceful, supposedly due to similar preferences and habits. After the Conjunction of the Spheres, the third race to join were the halflings.
Sometime after Nordlings founded their kingdoms in the area, Maechtian vendors arranged lucrative trade relations with one of the gnomish cities deep in Tir Tochair, buying exquisite mechanical and art crafts. After the Usurper conquered Maecht in the 1250s, gnomes withdrew deeper into their mountain holds to avoid being captured and forced to make armaments for the Nilfgaardian Army.
Geography and Climate
Tir Tochair is located south of the Amell and Fiery Mountains, beginning somewhere around Toussaint and Mag Turga and heading south towards barren steppes that form the southeastern border of the Empire. The height of the mountains block the passage of clouds towards the east, resulting in a rain shadow that forms the Great Korath Desert. Lands on the range's windward side, in the west, are way more verdant where rivers like Velda and Glyswen have their sources there.
Society and Culture
Gnomish clans do not form a coherent state; their society is divided into separate communes led by people's assemblies and respected individuals; halflings are mostly grouped in the foothills, forming rather rural societies. Dwarven colonies might be organized in more authoritarian ways such as in Mahakam, but not to the point of Brouver Hoog's regime which is described as one of the most controversial, even amongst dwarves. Tir Tochair dwarves are described as superstitious.
Being world-class experts on metallurgy, technology, and blacksmithing, gnomes of Tir Tochair forge phenomenal weapons using ancient techniques, methods, and patterns which they then trade. A prime example being gwyhyr, deemed the best sword in the world.
Tir Tochair became a leading exporter of opals after an earthquake revealed thick seams of the precious mineral within Mount Anur. As skilled miners and unrivaled jewelers, the gnomes instantly took hold of the opportunity.
- Barnabas Beckenbauer
- Vladov Varga
- Tir Tochair gnomes are known to use ray shagreen on gwyhyr hilts. It isn't stated whether they obtain it from trade or from fishing in an inland sea such as the Sea of Gales that appears in Sapkowski's Oko Yrrhedesa tabletop rpg.
- According to The Witcher Role-Playing Game, some of Nilfgaardian dragoons wear armors produced by gnomes. It isn't however stated whether these gnomes are those living in Tir Tochair or another group.