Based in their hill city of Echbur, the gnomes were a largely ignored race until they took in the dwarves. The sudden influx of great mineral resources allowed the gnomes to push their technology to new heights, which enabled them to grow and spread their mechanical
goods to new markets. Now, having a gnomish invention in your home is a conversations piece and a point of pride in many human settlements, especially their clocks.
The gnomes are a democratic people, but their voting is based not on who is the best
orator or politician, but the greatest inventor. The gnome who invents the most valuable and spectacular new device becomes High Tinker, and the High Tinker decides the direction of the city.
Another racial quirk of the gnomes are their “life quests.” Every gnome has a task, an objective, that they spend their entire life working toward. Often abstract or ephemeral things, such as “Discover why clouds float,” or “Make an apple that tastes like chicken,” occasionally these quests actually yield positive results. Gnomish fireworks were invented because one gnome’s life quest was “Create happiness,” and his love of explosions led him to create explosions for everyone to enjoy.
Gnomes, being a generally genial people, get along well with just about everyone. They
view humans as kindred spirits in adventurous inventing, halflings as fellow pranksters, and
dwarves as stolid comrades. They don’t particularly care for the elves, who are often too serious or wrapped up in Myr to be much fun.