Gnomes live in Mount Nevermind, on the Isle of Sancrist. Gnomes are the tinkerers of Krynn, designing grand machines for every imaginable task. Distant cousins of the Dwarves, gnomes who chased after the Graygem are rumoured to have been transformed from gnomes into Dwarves and Kender, depending on whether they coveted the stone or were curious about it. Gnomes live for 350 years as well.
At the beginning of their life, each gnome is given a Life Quest. The idea is that this is what their ancestors have devoted their lives to, and this quest must be completed before the gnome (and his forebears) can rest. For example, a life quest might be to study the geometry of a nail. After being approved by the Guild subcommittee to which his family belongs, the gnome spends his entire life working on this Quest. Seldom does the Guild declare a quest complete—that would mean that all that can be learned about that subject has been.
Gnomes are famous for inventing things. Rather than just making a simple invention, the gnome will add several thousand ropes, pulleys, levers, gadgets and a steam engine to it before it will be complete. Besides, what if the 'start' button were to fail? The gnome has installed about five fail safe systems in order to nullify that possibility.
All this innovation does not come without cost, however. Rarely does a gnome invention work without mishap (why do you think the gnomes have 34 ways to say "Look out!", each detailing a the direction and the level of peril from which danger approaches). For example, the gnomes invented a device to destroy the Great Dragons. Instead it blew the top off of Mt. Nevermind. If a gnome's inventions work most of the time, the gnome is regarded as crazy (and presumes that he is as well).
Gnomes are notoriously fast talkers, usually runningtheirwordstogetherlikethis. If you ask a gnome for his name, he will proceed to recite the entire history of his family, his entire history and the history of everything which he has invented. Unless you are like Astinus and have eternity, this is not recommended. Ask them for their Human name, and you will get the one or two syllables with which humans refer to this gnome.
Additionally, the only way to get a gnome's attention, especially whenhe'sinthemiddleofathought is to interrupt him. This is not considered rude; it is common practice.
Types of Gnomes
List of Gnomes
- Dragonlance Campaign Setting