The Firseid Sandbox
There are many gnome communities on Firseid’s hilly regions, though young adult gnomes are enthusiastic adventurers and make their homes in cities as tinkerers, mages-for-hire, technologists and alchemists, and smiths (gold, silver, iron, and magic).
The two largest communities are near Latani in the foothills of the Cinderpeak Mountains, named Burrowhome (in Common), and in the hilly country west of Lachherth, named Frostburg. These communities stretch for many miles above and below ground, and as such they rarely appear on maps. Communication is maintained between smaller burgs and villages with sending stones.
History, Reputation, Politics, and Society
The gnomes of Firseid have good relations with most humans, elves, and dwarves the world over, though they are sometimes badly treated by the less sophisticated citizens of their adopted homes, who do not necessarily see the benefits of their technological or magical expertise or simply see them as easy targets for robbery. The presence of so many gnomes in other communities means that outsiders rarely seek out the more isolated gnomish communities in the countryside. It also means that the gnome communities are relatively safe from humans and can count on the bigger folk for assistance against kobolds and goblins that might venture the occasional attack on a gnomish community.
Gnomes prefer to rely on their cleverness and politics to keep their communities safe, but when pressed the collective magical and technological knowledge of gnomes means that an extremely effective militia can be formed. Much rarer are gnomish warriors, but their stalwartness makes them excellent fighters with magical support.
Gnomes also pioneered the use of black powder in combat. The secret of its production has thus far remained with the gnomes who make it, but black powder-powered weapons are often fielded by human armies particularly in the north.
Gnomes, like their cousins the fae, are naturally skilled at magic and they view it not just as part of daily life but as an integral part of their existence. Arcane magic is the most common, but gnomes have their share of clerics as well.
It’s said that a gnome will make anything, whether or not it might be useful. As mentioned, they pioneered the use of black powder in weapons; they also make constructs (some of which can do more than just run around the house being chased by pets when wound up), telescopes, alchemical products, and more. The great clock tower in Freiburg was designed and built by gnomes and is rumored to keep perfect time. They also make toys and curiosities.
Because gnomes are constantly making things, they often have a surplus to trade to outsiders. Builders in a gnomish community will often make an overnight trek to the nearest human town to sell various items, and traveling merchants will travel to the cities for extended stays with their relatives to unload the more expensive or simply less useful trinkets.