Creatures theme

Includes gnomes, extremely diminutive and shy humanoids that prefer to dwell underground. Though other types exist.


The first video game about Gnomes was released in 1982.

Level 9 Computing, SSI and Starcraft has published most of these games

Tolkien Gnomes (Ñoldor;Noldoli)
The Ñoldor of Middle-Earth where a clan of the elves. Their alternate name hearkens to the 'knowledge' origin of the word 'gnome'. They where the second clan of elves. They tended to have dark hair and skin except for those with Vanyarin clan in their ancestry who sometimes had blond hair and very light skin. The came to Middle-Earth in pursuit of Morgoth and ended up at war with the Teleri clan. Their clan was divided in the first age with many returning to the Undying Lands. In the By the third age the rest mostly settled in Rivendell with Galadriel being a notable exception. Many returned to Undying Lands near the end of the Third Age and the rest were lost to history with the exception of Arwen, granddaughter of Galadriel. In the fourth age, Arwen became Queen of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor when she married Aragorn. Their loving children, Eldarion and several daughters, were not enough to heal her broken heart when Aragorn died at 210 years of age and she died of grief a year later. They were married 122 years. Through their parents, Eldarion and his sisters represented the lineage of all the kings of all the houses of all the clans of men and elves of Middle-Earth and also the heritage of the Maia (Arwen & Aragorn were descended from Thingol the elf & Melian the Maia). It is presumed that no more marriages between men and elves occurred. Thus, Eldarion and his sisters were the lasts decedents and the booldline heritage of the Tolkien Gnomes.

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These are often feared as a vengeful deities of a sort in some places (Finland for example), especially in hot, wet, nude gatherings.

There are two origins for for traditional gnomes and distinct modern gnomes are derivatives of the two and each other.

Fairy Folk Gnomes
A generally well behaved dwarf, goblin or fairy from European folklore. Unlike their kin, they are rarely dedicated to evil and even sometimes helpful. The shoemaker's elves (also called dwarfs and brownies in some versions) are actually more gnomelike than elf-like. Their heights vary to match the size of other fairy folk but favor the smaller ones (no more than 1.5 meeter, or 5 feet) In fact, gnomes are often difficult to physically distinguish from another type of fairy folk (they are not called gnomes). But, Gnomes are clean, neat, and tidy in contrast to other fair folk who do not place such a high value on such. In fairly recent history, the distinction has been made clear by merging them with Paracelsus' gnome, giving them a pointy hat (often red), a long to very long white beard, by a size more diminutive than most other fairy folk. Note, the long beard is also a trait of traditional dwarfs, but not necessarily is the white hair.
One thing they share with some other fairy folk is equating the giving of cloths in trade of servitude. But with gnomes, the trade is often somewhat equal or even in favor of the non-gnomish party, and they usually don't require a lifetime of servitude for the clothing they provide. They are also capable of bestowing luck, or even a lifetime of luck, but are unable (or perhaps unwilling) to provide this gift unless they are treated kindly. This is also a bit like a Leprechaun, which seems to be one of the influences.
Kaukis, barbegazi, duende, and tengu are sometimes identified as gnomes.

Paracelsus' Gnome
He associated them with the earth and considered them a dwarf-like type of elemental. They are about 12" tall and have an aversion to conversation. He is credited with the words "gnomos"/"gnomus" which he may have invented or derived from the Greek γνώσις (gnosis, "knowledge"), the Latin word "genomos" ("earth-dweller"), or the Arabic word نوم (Noum, Sleep). Scholars tend to believe the derivative was a accidental misspelling of "genomos" (gnomos) or that Paracelsus simply invented a word.

Modern Gnomes
Recent gnomes have a coloful pointy hat often as tall as their own height and often red. Their hair is usually white and the hat often covers baldness. But they have a long bead, even if bald. Their habit of smoking a long pipe sharply distinguishes them from traditional gnomes. They are also seen as conservationists, physicians and guardians of animals and to a lesser extent the forests or environment itself. Modern gnomes have a record of sightings rivaled only by Sasquatch and Chupacabra. A rash of sightings occurred in Argentina beginning in 2007.

Garden Gnomes
A subset of modern gnomes. They are a popular garden decoration often seen smoking a pipe, fishing, and napping. They are also the subjects of vandalism and pranks. They are not popular among snobs.

Dungeons & Dragons Gnomes
A subset of modern gnomes. Gnomes are a playable race of D&D. They stand 0.9-1.05m tall (3-3.5 feet). They are very intelligent, joyful, and an inclination to magic. Many excel at the Illusionist class, but their abilities also lend well to general wizardry, tinkering, and thieving if developed such. Though influenced by traditional gnomes, paracelseal gnomes, and modern gnomes, they are largely invented. Gnomes are thought to possibly be descendants of Dwarfs. They are adaptable and can integrate into the societies of Humans, Dwarfs, Halflings, and Elfs easily and be nearly indistinguishable (other than height) within 3 generations. It is implied that they can interbreed with the four races but their children inherit most of their genes from the non-gnome parent and so do not look like or have the same inclinations gnomes. Some gnomes hold a racial hatred against Kobolds. They have a pantheon of gods lead by Garl Glittergold which is favored. The other gods are sometimes favored for practical reasons. Even though gnomes sometimes live with other races they tend not to abandon Garl Glittergold because, like gnomes themselves, he gets long well with others. The exception being Kobolds and their pantheon of gods. Even though most gnomes are joyful and get along well with others and are not prone to crime and violence, they differ from traditional gnomes in that they are quite capable of evil.
Rock gnomes of D&D3 are a lot like Modern gnomes
Tinker gnomes of Krynn are fascinated by mechanical technology.
Svirfneblin (Deep gnomes) Dwell in deep underground cities. They are dwarf-like and can be dangerous.
Forest gnomes are basically smaller Rock gnomes that shun company.
River Gnomes are graceful and quick Rock gnomes and adept swimmers.
Arcane Gnomes prefer city life and pursue knowledge, invention, or wizardry. They look like the races of the cites they live in, but shorter.
Chaos gnomes are flamboyant disciples of chaos
Whisper gnomes are sly, stealthy, and suspicious. The lack the joy associated with most gnomes.
Ice gnomes of Frostfell dwell in cold places.
Fire gnomes of Bytopia are dwarf-like craftsmen and mechanics.

A group of gnomes is called a "donsie". This is a tag represents a donse.
Gnomes are somewhat commonly portrayed as being technically or scientifically oriented, especially in areas other people wouldn't dare to dabble in because of the perceived (usually quite real) dangers. Another common trait is the habit of thieving, especially if the gnomes are hardly knee or waist high for adult humans (the size depends mostly on what sized the other sentient creatures besides humans and gnomes are). They're also generally genial or benevolent in nature.

They also appear as earth elementals or similar in some fantasy settings, especially those made by Japanese. The earth association is also present in some regional variants of gnomes.

Parent groups

Demihumans, Humanoids, Wee folk


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