The Gnomes: From the Clay

I never had a better gardener than that gnome, Lepold Silason. I know people with a green thumb. But that Lepold could make that garden sing. Such a shame when he left. I always did regret not giving him that promotion. Even if he did leave a bunch of muddy footprints through my estate…

– Sylvea Karistark, Imperial Noblewoman

gnome-borderIf you believe the story – and never ask any of the Elves the validity of them, because they will say yes every time – than the Dwarves came from the West, the Halflings were conceived in the South, and the Humans sailed from the East. But the Gnomes? The Gnomes came from below and went up. Not even the Gnomes contest this fable. They were clay that was molded by the fires of the earth into the creatures they were now, and they have had an intimate relationship with the natural world ever since.

Of course, the Gnomes may or may not say that this story is a literal interpretation. But it is certainly a good symbolic analogy. See, there is a big difference between a Gnome and an Elf. An Elf will bend nature to his will, whereas a Gnome will mold it. He doesn’t break it, he doesn’t force it to go against its intent. He just knows how nature works and how to work within its natural boundaries.

Gnomes are connected with the natural world. Even city Gnomes can’t ignore the call of nature – you will find a potted plant in even the most rebellious of gnomes’ homes. To have a little something natural in their lives is just an essential part of being a Gnome. If any Gnome were to separate himself from the natural world – not saying it can happen, simply if – he would be a hollow thing. Incomplete, inhuman. He wouldn’t be a Gnome anymore.

He would be something else entirely.

Now, the Gnomes aren’t stuck with just understanding nature. They can understand people too. They have a way of…recognizing what a person wants. What he needs, in the moment. Gnomes know what is best…for the Gnome. They don’t necessarily know what is best for the person, nor do they necessarily want that. Gnomes are master deceivers because people don’t know they are deceiving them. Gnomes know what to say to a person, when to be hard handed or softly spoken. They have that knack for it.

And that makes them dangerous. Gnomes have changed the world with the right word. And they will do it again.

And the world doesn’t even know it.

They don’t know this because Gnomes have a cardinal rule: you can say what you want, just don’t let others know about it. The reason for this is that if the world knew that Gnomes could persuade just about anyone to do anything, then they would make sure they never did that again. At best the Gnomes would be sent into ghettos. At worst there would be no more Gnomes.

That is why Gnomes take care of themselves. They make sure that things don’t go out of hand. There is a line, and when it is crossed no one will ever know of you. There’s a reason nobody has heard of these Gnomes that have changed the world with a word: the Gnomes made sure of that.