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The Purifiers

September 05, 2015

demoIn the Millennium of Purification, a group of Elves and Dwarves join forces to purge the world of the dark magicks they themselves once helped unleash. Is there a chance to make up for their sins of the past and restore order to the world? Find out in the serial fan fic: The Purifiers.

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May 05, 2015

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September 05, 2015

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Gnome Culture

Small, peace-loving, and easy-going, the Gnomes never had an entire empire of their own. While they had several Gnome kingdoms these simply bordered on much larger and grander empires of other races such as the Elves and the Dwarves. These kingdoms did not give Gnomes a sense of division or superiority, merely a place to call home. They still always associated closely with the other races, managing to fit into just about any community they enter. As a result Gnomes mostly adopted the cultures of the empires around them. Gnomes have traditionally preferred the ways of Elves and humans over the rougher cultures of their fellow subterranean races such as Dwarves or Kobolds.

Despite this method of adopting cultures around them it is not fair to say that Gnomes have no culture of their own. In fact, they have created several elements that are truly unique to their people. While both Elves and Dwarves have abandoned many of their old ways to adapt to life with humans, Gnomes on the other hand have held onto those unique customs. Of all the more "socially developed" races in the past, Gnome culture is perhaps the most alive in this day and age. Though, for a time, it seemed that it may not be the case.

During the Elf-Dwarf War the Gnomes, true to their beliefs, would not take sides. However, because of their way of always being on the borders of the greater empires, they could not avoid it. The longer the war went on the greater the devastation to their people. By the end of the war there were few in numbers still remaining. Though the Elves and Dwarves had ancient cities which survived the struggle, the Gnomes did not. All of their cities were in ruins and their people almost entirely eradicated; an estimated 80-90% of their population a casualty of someone else's war. Whether or not the Gnomes could recover from the great loss was questionable at the time.

After the war many Gnomes held great resentment and bitterness towards both races, blaming both for the tragedy. Attitudes of hate and revenge simply weren't in the Gnomes' nature, and these feelings threatened to destroy them as much as any war. Had Gnomes given into those feelings any remnants of their people and culture may have well been lost to the hands of time. Luckily their race managed to persevere, despite the losses and themselves. In time their friendly nature allowed most to forgive the races, though some (10%) still hold a grudge to this day.



Like many other aspects of their culture the Gnomes do not have a unique language to their race. Instead, their native tongue is the Dwarven language. If an isolated Gnome community is found this is the language they will likely speak. However, they are a highly adaptable race and will normally adjust to the native tongue of whatever area they decide to call home. As a result it can be more common to hear a Gnome speaking in a dialect of human or Elven instead of Dwarven, as Gnomes will most commonly be found in those types of communities.

When Gnomes do speak Dwarven it is interesting to note they have a unique method of pronunciation. They are careful to accentuate key syllables in the word to help translation. Using these accentuations it makes it easier to separate the multiple words combined to form the single word. This makes it easier to understand and provides characters a +10% bonus to understand Dwarven (when it's spoken in this manner only). The bonus does not apply to any written forms or when responding to a Gnome, only when the Gnome speaks.

This method of speaking appears to be strictly limited to the Gnome race. Dwarves, Kobolds, and Troglodytes who also speak Dwarven natively seem incapable, or perhaps simply unwilling, to speak using the accentuations. Other races not listed above can attempt to use these Gnome accentuations, but do so with a -10% penalty. A failed roll means the wrong syllables were accentuated making it more confusing than normal and gives others a -20% penalty to understand. For this reason, few attempt to do so after realizing the difficulty.

Even though the other races do not use it themselves they have no problems with Gnomes using the accentuations. There are absolutely no complaints of it butchering the beauty of the language, Gnomes showing off, or anything else of a similar nature. It simply seems to be a variation of the language. However, it is something none of the races decide to make the topic of conversation. No answer as to why the other races won't or can't do the same will be given, even when asked directly.


Children and Aging

A female Gnome has a fertile cycle once every twenty days. Pregnancy lasts for only four months before giving birth. After birth it requires two more months for the mother to recover before it is considered safe to become pregnant again. At first glance these numbers could appear to lead to a rather astonishing birthrate that would soon cause mass populations of Gnomes to rise up. However, there are a number of other factors both biological and psychological which help to limit the number of Gnome children.

The first factor is the Gnome drive to reproduce. Most species, both humanoid and animal, have a natural instinct and drive to reproduce. Gnomes on the other hand have a relatively low drive in this regard. This is not to say they do not have any, just that it is relatively low compared to that of just about any other race. A Gnome has been known to go over a century without thinking on the matter. Some find it hard to believe that Gnomes have survived for so many ages despite this fact, but it is important to remember that Gnomes are not stupid. Just because they do not have a strong instinctive biological drive does not mean they do not realize the necessity of reproduction.

Another factor to consider is that Gnomes were greatly traumatized by the Elf-Dwarf War. While this has not influenced their biology in any form, the fact war and death is the way of so many of the other races was made abundantly clear. Even now in the Time of Man, the sword of war threatens to fall. It is a difficult decision to willingly bring a child into a world where they may be slaughtered, whether they fight or not, for simply being in the area. This fact has scarred the psyche of Gnomes since the Great War.

When Gnomes do decide to have children they typically have many in a short period of time. Gnomes find raising children a true joy. Within fifty years a Gnome family will usually have somewhere between five and ten children. This is likely to be the only time in their life they actually have children and not likely to do so again. For a Gnome it is more important to strengthen the bonds and ties they have rather than simply make new ones. Quality of relationships, both in family and friendship, are more important than quantity, a sentiment many other races do not share.

In most aspects Gnomes will age similarly to their Dwarven cousins. By the age of twelve almost all Gnome males will have a neatly trimmed mustache and/or beard. At the age of sixteen the Gnome will be a fully grown adult and is considered to have come of age. However, their hair is naturally white, even from birth. Also, while Dwarves have aged and weathered looks Gnomes appear youthful. Their skin stays smooth and soft without showing much signs of wrinkles or other age until well after the age of 200. With their small size and youthful features it is no surprise that many mistake them for children.


Duels of Honor

Gnomes tend to have a very calm and relaxed demeanor. As stated earlier, hate and revenge are not traits within their nature. This makes it very unlikely for one to take a duel of honor like most other races. It is a common Gnome philosophy that life is too short, even for a race that can live up to 600 years of age, to dwell on such "trivialities." This fact causes Gnomes to have no set code like the other races. They do tend to be well versed in the cultures of the other races though and, should by some chance a Gnome wish to challenge, will use the customs of the offending race.

If by some chance a Gnome is challenged by another the challenge is almost always refused. The main exceptions to this is if the Gnome realizes he/she is in the wrong or a fight is intentionally instigated, usually only in the rare case of an evil Gnome. In the case of a Dwarven duel of honor there isn't much chance to refuse (see Dwarven Culture for more details). This is rarely an issue as most Dwarves respect the Gnome dislike of duels and will rarely issue a challenge to their small cousins. If a duel does ensue many Gnomes will take the first hit as a continued protest. Unless the Dwarf stops attacking though the Gnome will likely do what is necessary to defend against the attack and possibly retaliate.


Ruling a Kingdom

As the term kingdom implies, any Gnome kingdom found will be ruled by a king. However, these kingdoms are a rarity to find. All those of old were destroyed in the Great War, or at least that is believed and if any from that time do still exist few, if any, know about it. Since that time Gnomes are not known to make new kingdoms. Instead, Gnomes live amongst the other races now and simply adapt to the change. Gnomes do not generally have a huge ambition for power and do not seek to be ruler of an area, so living in someone else's kingdom is just fine. This does not stop them on the other hand from becoming nobles and/or advisors.



Unlike Elves and Dwarves the Gnomes have no such rules for creating a name. Gnomes feel that since a name is going to be with someone for all their life it should be something they enjoy. Therefore the name is not chosen by some rule, but chosen by the parents. The name is usually something that the child can be proud of and take pleasure in having it. However, if the child is not pleased with the name it is acceptable for the Gnome to change the given name after the Coming of Age, same age as the Dwarf. Some Gnomes have taken this tradition and continue to change their name every few years or whenever they think it will be fun or interesting. The most important thing is that the Gnome enjoys it!


Love and Marriage

Within the Gnome culture there is no such thing as marriage. If two people are in love then that is enough. The only thing marriage is good for is as a display for others and that really has nothing to do with love. It does not matter if no one else knows about the love as long as the two are happy. To Gnomes, love is not always eternal or even life long. It is inevitable that people will change in life and one of those changes can be love. Instead of staying together out of obligation the two can simply go their separate ways. This is not an insult or a symbol of hatred, merely a change in life.


Unique Traits

One of the most interesting traits common among Gnomes is their overwhelming superstitious nature. Some are so highly superstitious it can border on obsession and paranoia. The Elves and Dwarves, as well as most of the other ancient races, view the Gnome superstitions as silly and nonsensical. Below are some examples of various superstitions and good luck charms. However there are far too many to list them all here. For more ideas, cultures in real life are full of superstitions. It is recommended that the G.M. and player discuss new superstitions before they enter game play to avoid conflict in game.

To a Gnome walking under a ladder is inviting disaster and breaking a mirror is seven years bad luck. Black cats are often a sign of bad luck, but only because they are believed to be unnatural and indicate a witch may be in the area. Sneezing is a warning sign and it is very important for someone else to say the words "take care" or the person may become terribly sick, sometimes fatally. Horse shoes can be good luck due to horses in general being viewed as a lucky animal. A rabbit's foot is believed to help with having children as rabbits are viewed as a sign of fertility.

Another unique characteristic of Gnomes is the fact they have a saying for just about any type of situation. These sayings are ages old and only grow in numbers. If there is not a saying to describe the current situation then it's time to come up with a new one that seems fitting. This is almost a natural talent of Gnomes to find the right words to fit the moment. Some find the sayings interesting, others humorous, and some just find it right down annoying.

These sayings are viewed as a part of Gnome history and treasured dearly. A few examples are, "Common sense is not so common," "Stuck between a rock and a Melech," "Anubis hath no fury like that of an Elf scorned," and "There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity." These are but a few of the numerous sayings that can come from the lips of a Gnome at any given moment. Most often the quotes will begin with the phrase, "There is an old Gnome saying ..."


The Three Elemental Guides

Gnome culture doesn't place much importance on the elements themselves. Whether it is the Dwarven system of five elements or the Elven four elements does not matter. Instead Gnomes prefer to focus on what they call the Three Elemental Guides. These are believed to tie all things together and play a key elemental factor in all life. It is believed by Gnomes that anyone who can understand and follow the Three Elemental Guides will live a long and fulfilling life.

The first elemental guide is Eternity. It is a representation of the body and symbolized by the infinity symbol. Though it is called Eternity it does not mean that one needs to live forever. Quite the contrary, Gnomes believe only one who can come to terms with mortality and the possibility of death can move passed it. By not worrying about death one can truly live.

The second elemental guide is Clarity. It is a representation of the mind and symbolized by an empty circle. In life most people have preset notions. They expect something to happen and as a result they help to cause it. This causes people to fall into a cycle and become trapped in their own assumptions. Until someone can clear their mind of all thought they can never be truly free.

The third elemental guide is Balance. It is a representation of the soul and is symbolized by scales. In order to attain balance one must learn to harmonize both mind and body. Strengthening only one is limiting. Neither mind nor body can reach full potential without the other. Only by finding balance between the two can one ever hope to reach full potential and become truly whole.