“The Friction Devotion” is a small cult started by a gnome rogue turned priest named Dinomoda Skipssmas. She taught that existence is a struggle of friction and viscosity: too much and everything grinds to a halt, too little and everything falls apart. The light is an expression of heat, stasis, and order, while shadow is contraction, flow, and freedom.
The group quickly found a niche focusing on reducing friction, because so many gnome inventions are built around wheels and parts with a fixed point of rotation. Early on they developed new formulas for shadow oils, and a HEAT Power Word that would stop machines that started running out of control. Unfortunately the shadow oils did not prove to be cost effective for there intended purposes, and inventors were unhappy with the results of using the HEAT Power Word on their devices because it frequently warped, melted, or fused parts. One inventor was quoted to say that it would have been better if they had “..smashed the whole thing with hammer, at least I’d have some salvageable scraps!”
The group experienced a schism after one of their high ranking member, Faxflex Clutchwydth, purportedly produced a mathematical formula showing that their ultimate goal, to produce a friction-less substance, was impossible. The teachings of Dinomoda Skipssmas were updated by her followers to suggest that finding something perfectly friction-less was an ideal and not meant to be taken as a literal goal. Despite this update, there is still a small fundamentalist group working toward this ‘idealistic’ goal.
The majority of Friction Devotion members that remain continue to search for more efficient lubricants, and their configurations for braking systems are still taught in every level of gnomish schools.