Gnomes are a race of naturalized fey who adapted a humanoid form in worlds dominated by other humanoids. Unlike elves, their forms became diminutive and compact. Although gnomes usually lack leadership ambitions and therefore rarely dominate their worlds, one of the most powerful interstellar states, Gnadra Confederacy, was formed by gnomes, making them one of the most populous and powerful races in the Galaxy.
Their unaltered counterpart are goblins.
Gnomes greatly resemble, internally and externally, humans affected with growth disabilities. Due to their origins as prankster fey, they originally took on these forms to make bigger humanoid races see them as childish and innocent. Unlike elves, gnomes do not have pointed ears or cat-like pupils, leaving very little sign of their fey origin. One of the few fey elements left in their biology is their allergy to cold iron (although they do not die to it as easily as proper fey).
Gnomes are naturally curious creatures, to the point of severe psychological and biological issues if their curiosity is not sated often enough. A gnome with no intellectual stimulation in their life slowly undergoes a form of depression that eventually, if untreated, leads to sleep deprivation and even self-starvation. That makes gnomes good adventuring companions and poor manual laborers.
Biological differences between varieties of gnomes are usually minimal and often display mostly cultural differences.
- Rock gnomes are the most populous variety of gnome, living on Gnegav and many Gnadra Confederacy worlds. They're peaceful, rustic people who live in underground houses and often find companions among burrowing animals. They're commonly seen as pranksters and illusionists. They have the same variety of skin and hair color as humans.
- Tinker gnomes are politically most powerful, due to their role in the Gnadra Confederacy. Unlike most races of fey origins, they're technologically oriented and prefer to achieve their goals through technology (frequently aided by magic). With the same variety of skin colors as humans, they possess much more vibrant hair colors, including bright pink, lime green or aquamarine.
- Forest gnomes are the closest to their fey origins. They often live in tree houses connected with vast networks of bridges, made of wood harvested without harming the trees. Their biggest center is Ruelgorm. Their skin has muted earthen tones, and their hair can take on darker shades of human hair or varieties of green.
- Deep gnomes are the most reclusive variety, usually living in underworlds. They're stoic, contemplative creatures who take to guarding the fragile balance of life in their dark habitats. They have dark grey or pitch-black skin and males are usually bald, while females have stringy, thin, white or grey hair.
- Sand gnomes live on desert worlds, often ones whose nature was devastated in a cataclysm. Driven mad by destruction of their habitats, they're savages with little tolerance of outsiders, including other tribes of sand gnomes. They usually have sandy yellow, red or brown skin and dark brown or black hair.