Gnome Beliefs

Gnomes are not superstitious.  In a world with arcane magic, divine power, and interdimensional beings, these things are as natural as gravity, magnets, and electricity.  Gnomeregan lacks the mythological origin stories that other cultures use to inform themselves who they are.  For gnomes <unknown> is a valid answer until some mechanism that explains a phenomenon is demonstrated.

Gnome Philosophy struggles with different questions than other cultures.  This is primarily due to the fact gnomes want to understand how things work so that those properties can be harnessed to some effect.  Do origins matter?  Dwarves are very concerned with their origins, but gnomes are not, because that information does not provide much insight about how things currently function.  This peels back a layer and lets us see deeper into gnome philosophy.  “How” is a much more important question to gnomes than “Why” is.

Physics, medicine, and chemistry and the very common and well developed schools of thought in Gnomeregan.  They are things things that can be measured and applied in the physical world.  The tricky things that gnomes grapple with are morality, aesthetics, and the nature of existence.  Things that are innately abstract and don’t have obvious immediate application languish on the margins of gnomish disciplines.  Their philosophy is less about acquiring wisdom for understanding and more about attaining knowledge to achieve goals.

MekkatorqueandSuit2There is a Micro and Macro aspect to gnome individualism.  On the micro level is an individual gnome, made of of all of his or her physical parts, education, experiences, and expertise.  All these parts come together to form a complex being that can accomplish amazing feats.  Alone a gnome can create amazing things.  These creations are then seen as an extension of the self though intellect and craftsmanship.

Every individual gnome is expected to bring their best to any situation.  Any job that is necessary is important. This leads into their macro views.  Just like each gnome is made of smaller parts themselves, on the macro scale, each gnome is a small piece of a larger community.  This is one of the reasons gnomes don’t make many demands of the Alliance.  In their expandable views of the self, any success of the Alliance is a success for gnomes as a part of the Alliance.

Gnomish thought-leaders come in all types.  Gnomes that take on the roles of priest are not leading fields outside their role, however, they are important sounding boards for all gnomes no matter what the disciple.  If a gnome gets too involved in their own personal goals, it’s the job of a gnome philosopher to remind them that they have responsibilities and that their actions have impacts beyond themselves.  On the same note, they also guide gnomes that have lost focus and overextend themselves.

When soliciting feedback on ideas it’s also important to get multiple perspectives.  There are gnomes that specialize in positive encouragement.  Acting as a confidants, these optimists believe that there is a good idea at the core of any concept, and that it must be nurtured to realize it’s maximum potential.  Other gnomes are skeptical, asking many questions about how the idea is going to be brought to fruition.  It’s not that they are trying to discourage new ideas.  Instead they want to make sure that the idea has been considered in depth before resources are spent trying to make it happen.  Finally there are nay-saying cynics.  Gnomes that offer this kind of feedback tend to focus more on the applications of ideas and the motivations for implementing them more than the feasibility of the idea itself.

Gnomeregan credits a lot of it’s strength to the fact that all citizens have a door that is always open, a gnome to talk to about any idea and work through and explore the merits and drawbacks of all potential ideas.

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Gnomish Sciomancers

Most gnomes don’t think much about the afterlife.  Attempts to contact and study those that have passed on generally yields inconclusive results, with one exception: Ghosts.

Ghost are real, as is the shadowlands.  They can be interacted with and examined through sciomancy.  At one time this lead to the formation of a group of gnomes who believed becoming a ghost was the only hope of an afterlife. (If not the ONLY hope, at least it was preferable to reintegration with the environment or oblivion.)  These gnomes became Sciomancers of the highest caliber.  Able to contact and control the spirits of the dead, and even enter the shadowlands.

While Gnomeregan had no official laws against Necromancy or Shadow magic at the time, the group was still looked down upon and outcast.  Most of these Scimomancers went north to Lordaeron to study at the school that became Scholomance, and were lost to the scourge.

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The Friction Cult

“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.

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Defunct Gnome Orders – Mages

I’ve found information on two Mage orders in Gnomeregan, one a public work Guild and the other a secret society.

GnomeUnions-Arcane-Chronomancers1The Secret Society called themselves the Lords of Time.  They appear to have been what we would call Arcane mages.  A lot of the documents I looked at had allusions to them, but very few direct mentions.  They appear to have simply vanished, if they ever existed at all.

Their symbol is convoluted.  Something about an hourglass with objects orbiting around it, in circles, while concurrently the same objects pass through the hour glass in a straight line.  Who could make sense of that?

 

GnomeUnions-Fire-Accelerants1

More commonly know, were the Steamfitters Union.  This union had two branches the Accelerants (fire mages), and the Hydrobinders (frost mages).  The Accelerants controlled power, and the Hydrobinders control the water.  They worked together to create the massive steam driven engines that power Gnomeregan.

GnomeUnions-Frost-Hyrobinders1

The Accelerants made use of a stylized graph indicating that alluded to controlled increases in power.

And the Hydrobinders used a depiction of some kind of Filter with pipes at the bottom.

 

Defunct Gnome Orders- Warriors

I’m having the bibliotech at Gearshaft University added to the binary buzz box system.

Looks like their used to be Gnomish Orders.  The tinkers unions for Gnomish and Goblin engineering have survived, but a ton of groups have become obsolete.  I’ll be posting those as I get them translated.  Some of them have made it in some way to the modern world, there are others I can’t understand what they ever did.

Here are the first few.  They appear to be Warrior groups.

GnomeUnions-WarProcetion-TeratrooperInfantryTeratrooper Infantry – These gnomes armed with sword and shield patrolled the natural tunnels that connect to Gnomeregan.  They were trained to stand together in tight formation and cut off narrow passages with their shields.  The Force Reactive Disk was invented by them for them with the intent to interlock and dig in to the walls of a tunnel.  This tradition has continued on in to the modern Gnomeregan Infantry.

They are represented as a bulwark guarding interlocking gears.

 

GnomeUnions-Arms-SentryCommiteeSentry Committee – These gnomes guarded the surface of Gnomeregan.  They specialized in the larger weapons used by other races.  The idea apparently being that by using the largest weapons possible they would prove they were equally capable in martial ability.  Because of Gnomeregans narrow entrance, there were far fewer of these gnomes.  They were finally disbanded when the gnome monarchy ordered Gnomeregan sealed.

They are represented by three weapons with one handle.

 

GnomeUnions-Fury-PummelersThe Pummelers – In the notes above there are references to another group called ‘The Pummelers’.  This appears to be a derogatory term for gnomes that did not have the discipline to operate in the tight groups of the Infantry, or the technical prowess of the Sentries.  These gnomes put more ’emotion’ in to their battles than any other.  There are records of some as champions.

They are represented by a large hammer made of loose bolts. (This seems to have originated as a derogatory image assigned TO the group that they later adopted.)