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Gnomish History and Culture

What We Know

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In past Warcraft games, we gnomes have sort of gotten the short end of the stick background-wise. "Yeah, uh, there's gnomes in the Alliance, and they build stuff." Even now, look at us. We speak gnomish and came from Gnomeregan. Imagine if your capitals were called Dwarftown, Humanville, and Elfland.

So, given that we're provided so little, I feel free to make things up left and right. My character might even believe them!

The way I see it, we gnomes used to be very potent magically in the ancient era, when our warrior-poets and mage-kings slew foul beasts and giants and conquered the harsh land with reason and measured skill. However, quite possibly at the urgings of the Night Elves, as they are wont to encourage such things and our sorcerous might could have allowed us to contact them easily, we were convinced that magic was in fact a dark force capable of corrupting us, and we forsook it for the clean, empirical embrace of the pure technomancer.

All was well for many an age, until the Dark Portal and the wars began, and eventually the Troggs were unleashed on us—ugly, brutish, and by no means short. We fought valiantly, and slew twenty of their number for every defender of ours that laid down his life giving up an inch of ground, but sheer numbers prevailed against us. In desperation and madness, our elders unleashed a doomsday weapon, and even that was not enough to stop the onslaught.

The few of us that survived are the hardiest, most clever, and, frankly, most vicious of our kind. It's clearly the lack of magic dictated by the Mechanist movement that led us to this exiled state, so that's why so many of us have taken up the mantle of arcane and sorcerous power. As our tinkering suggests, we have by no means abandoned technology, merely incorporated it into our ever-growing arsenal of techniques to defend ourselves. We've been hurt bad, and now we're turning into a porcupine. Egomania and an unwillingness to surrender to anything are the order of the day. We will overcome, for we are stronger that whatever may assail us.

The Names We Use

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Those aren't gnome names.

You want something like Fuzzywidget. Fizzlebottom. Wonkydroplet.

The sillier the better ;)

Bah! Those are all Mechanist names! It's their fault our city is now a radioactive hole in the ground! Such names show an allegiance to the old fallen order that has proven it is incapable of safeguarding our people. Proper gnomish names should harken back to the high traditions of old gnomish epic poetry, singing of folk heroes battling great beasts with raw cunning, mystical force, and clever tools. It is only by accepting that technology is but a part of the power we must embrace that we can grow strong once again.

The Tales We Tell

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Where can a Tauren safely hear some of this Gnomish Epic?

Most gnomes are all too happy to oblige you with retelling our favorite epics from memory (as memory is one of the mental traits upon which we pride ourselves), though be prepared to have a few hours of time set aside. However, communicating your desire to hear our sagas may prove difficult, and understanding them much more so, as none have been translated into other languages, to my knowledge. They would lose their carefully constructed recursive rythms and twelve-fold rhyming structure, which subtly reinforce the key points of dramatic tension.

Are Gnomes Atheists?

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Oh, we believe perfectly well in gods and demons and whatnot. To do otherwise would be patently stupid. We just don't think they're anything special deserving of our worship.

However, no mention of organized religon has been mentioned amongst the gnomes. In fact, the Warcraft story does not specifically mention the origin of the gnomes. But they are probably related somehow to the Earthen that created the dwarves.

Well, gnomes make things. All sorts of things. Who else makes things? The Makers. Perhaps we are the descendants of the Titans of old, diminished by time as all great things of the past are. Perhaps we became aware of our own hubris and folly when we saw what the demons we made had wrought, and intentionally gave up our cosmic power to live as mortals. Perhaps we are not mortal, for have you ever seen a young gnome? Perhaps we mistakenly destroyed our capacity for wisdom along with our capacity to create the unwise, and with time we have regained the latter but not the former? Perhaps we worship no gods because deep within we still remember having been them?

Talking Like A Gnome

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I tend to use a fair amount of disproportionately and superfluously eloquent vocabulary when articulating my gnome, even more so than in my ordinary real-life discourse. This does, on occasion, obfuscate my meaning from less fluent individuals, but I feel that alienating anti-intellectuals is in character.

LOL, This, along with rest of your, "Diary". I loved.

Gnomes and Trolls

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There is much the gnomes and the trolls have in common and much we could share with each other. We are a people whose past has been destroyed, and they are one whose future remains uncertain. We are all exiles and survivors. If we were to meld our ingenuity and their heritage, our speed and their determination, we would forge a force to be reckoned with.

It is an unfortunate accident of geography and fate that has found us on opposite sides of a war. I think any quarrels we may have are but minor disagreements, not the deep-seated hatreds that divide some races from each other. I look forward to opportunities for our people to work together and strengthen each other.

Gnomish Politics

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Like most societies, gnomes have a variety of socio-political belief systems, not all of which get along well with each other. The first of these is the Classical one. None of the Classicists would ever have referred to themselves as such, as they were just everyday people who lived and fought and sung songs and generally did the things people did back in the day without much thought to politics. They got their name in retrospect, after the rise of the Mechanists.

The Mechanists were the faction that dominated gnomish affairs for the past few centuries, espousing a better living through technology. They were generally right, but their near-sighted optimism led directly to an inability to fight the troggs and the eventual Gnomeregan disaster. They also have silly names like "Berry Tinklefizz" and "Cog Screwsprocket".

Following the collapse of our civilization, the Mechanists naturally fell out of favor, with both the Reactionaries (who call themselves the Neo-Classicists in an attempt to make themselves look both modern and hallowed, as opposed to fanatical) and the Synergists vying for attention. Reactionaries are nuts who deem technology to have been at the root of all our problems, and now seek to abandon it in favor of entirely magical approaches. (Even within the reactionaries, there are schisms, for the Arcanists refuse to dabble in Infernal magic, being unwilling to admit to themselves the truth about the magic they do use.)

We Synergists, on the other hand, realize that technology was the not the cause of our problems, but rather its unwise application as well as a failure to have other options open. That's why we favor a measured combination of magical and technological, as well as social and other, approaches to resolving issues. That's why I, in addition to being a master of sorcerous summoning and the conjuring of shadow and flame, am also an accomplished engineer with a small gaggle of automata, sacks crammed full of obscure but potentially handy gadgets, and the ability to blow things sky-high chemically as well as magically. I also cultivate friends and allies and try to marshall my financial resources against future necessity as well.

In addition, Synergists also give their children far more sensible names, with noble, mellifluous arrangements of syllables that can be conveniently abbreviated yet display rich pseudo-symmetric structure, such as Nenicirene, Madianamara, or Shamainalohara. It is a sad thing that my parents did not see fit to grant me such a fine name themselves, and that I had to take corrective measures later in life, once the issue of alienating them was an unfortunately moot point.

Does this mean you once went by something silly like "Tizzy Bunksprocket?"

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Such information has been suppressed for the good of all involved.

Gnomes and Goblins

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Of all the races on Azeroth, the one most like the gnomes is the goblins, which is particularly ironic, as they are not native to the place. Their arrival with the Orcish Horde a few generations ago was a substantial shock to us. It was probably even more of a shock to them.

While there is the occasional technical-minded individual in the ranks of other species, only the goblins share the near-universality of this inclination with us. We are both driven to analyze things, take them apart, put them back together, recreate them, and improve on them. They understand this need in a way that others do not, leading to a curious sort of relationship with them.

We are both best of friends and worst of enemies. We can talk to each other in ways that no other species can understand, and because of this we have to be careful in ways that no other species requires. Only a goblin could provide advice on our latest creation or steal the blueprints to it and make sense of them. In practice, this has worked out to a sort of professional rivalry. Even during the height of the first war, curiosity got the better of both sides, and we were carrying out secret diplomatic overtures unbeknownst to our respective human and orcish allies. After the ceasing of outright hostilities, during the detente period, there was substantial technical collaboration as we traded notes and theories back and forth, enlightening each other on our areas of expertise. When war started up again, we continued to have our conferences, though we refrained from showing our most secret blueprints. It is no coincidence that in the first two wars, both sides were essentially identical in technological capacity.

There are, however, substantial differences between our two people. As is well-known, the goblins have recently taken a mercenary bent, declaring their neutrality from political struggles and affirming their loyalty to gold. We gnomes, on the other hand, have stuck by our allies, even going so far as to not let them know of our internal troubles while they were at war, because we knew they would have helped us, diverting crucial resources they needed elsewhere. Also, when it comes to our technological bent, gnomes prefer to analyze, control, and create, while goblins prefer to disassemble, modify, and speed up. We are cerebral creators, while they are chaos given intelligence.

As I have surmised, perhaps we are the creative spark of the Makers, given separate form and set free to continue the act of Creation, a final act of Making their own replacements within the world they had already set up. If so, it follows that the goblins must be the Makers' destructive spark, for one must prune away old creation to allow room for new one to take root. That we were housed on separate worlds is only logical, to keep us separate until such time as our essences needed to be recombined. Perhaps someday a gnome and a goblin shall interbreed, and their child shall be a god.

In the mean time, there is one request I would like to have passed on to the Makers when they were doing their work: In all the other races, even the goblins, the females are totally stacked. Why did we gnomes get stuck with the A-cups? It's not fair…

Fascinating. I never saw the man behind the Wizard! You have taught this young gnomie so much about our race and class. Thank you, wise one.

Greetins, Nome. I stay wondering, you got any proof the Goblins come from the Red World? This something I not went able for confirm. There seem things what point both ways, an I suspec they native, but I got no proof. I chrai fo confirm this fo my monograph.

Gnomish Religion, Revisited

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Do gnomes even have a god?

Of course not. If we went around worshipping everything that happened to be bigger than us, we wouldn't have time to breathe, and drawing a line at some point seems so arbitrary. Better not to worship anything and use our time more productively. Just because you have phenomenal cosmic power doesn't mean we should kiss your feet.

We have the High Tinker (kinda like a [normally] routinely elected Pope), who currently sits in his n-teenth year of office in Tinkertown due to the continued "state of emergency" he declared back when the Troggs first invaded, and we have the Grand Tinker.

The High Tinker is a worthless Mechanist still living in delusional exile, claiming some form of authority that is no longer his.

Someone created everything.

Bah. Just because lesser minds cannot comprehend the possibility of infinite time stretching back without end or the concept that order self-organizes itself out of chaos is no reason to conjure up some fairy tale about a mysterious creator.

That's the Grand Tinker. Some of us believe He still meddles with thing while others of us believe He has either left the realm or is just a voyeuristic entity. In either case, we do not believe He is a being to be worshipped, and we're fully aware that our (normally) elected High Tinker is only guessing at what the Grand Tinker has intended for everything. Actually, we're fully aware that the High Tinker usually goes with the Gnomish popular opinion…except in some cases where Mekkatorque would only listen to what Thermaplugg had to say. (A few of us have theories about some "deeper" involvement between those two before Gnomeregan fell, but if there was, they were REALLY careful to hide it.)

What about the Old Gods and the Titans, you ask? Who created them? That's the Grand Tinker. Who created the Grand Tinker? He has always been, but apparently got bored and started…well…tinkering.

This "Grand Tinker" is but another piece of Mechanist tripe. The Titans and the Old Gods are merely the oldest beings that we know of. To speculate about their origins, if they even have any, without any evidence is foolish.

When the Titans left the world, they put the dragons in charge of protecting it, but they foresaw the need to make changes in the future. They knew that, powerful as they were, they were not perfect, and so they put in a correction mechanism for the future, for a static world could not last. We gnomes are the creative spark of the Titans made flesh, a living seed planted to give life to new acts of creation The Gnomeregan disaster was a long-needed signal to jolt us off our butts and smash the Mechanist clap-trap that had dulled the minds of generations. Through suffering, we have been made strong, and rediscovered our heritage of power. Once we fuse our spark to the destructive spark of the goblins, we shall ascend to our duties as gods.

Phylogeny and Hygiene

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Recently, I answered the following call:

Greetings, I am Agent Teehee and I am looking for survivors from the "Gnomeregan Incident", their stories and how they escaped the city. This information can be vital to the rescue of others missing gnomes on our beloved city.

Your contribution is vital for the well being of all gnomehood.

You're in luck, or as much luck as can be found when 90% of your species died recently. I happen to be one of the foremost chroniclers of that dark event (as well as a master sorceror, summoner, tinkerer, chef, comedian, philosopher, and award-winning dancer, though perhaps a bit lacking in humility).

But then Rokay had to come along and show her true nature as a troll:

So close to the perfect number... damn you 10% that survived. Filthy little rodents, the whole lot of you.

Gnomes aren't rodents. We're primates. If you'd spend less time stabbing things and more time paying attention to the world around you, you'd know this sort of thing. Really, here I thought there was so much hope for gnome-troll cooperation. I even hired a troll correspondent for my site, and she was so excited when you signed her pants…some idol you turn out to be…

Also, gnomes aren't filthy. We invented bathing, along with many other great things that improve life for all people. (Granted, the night elves invented nude hot-tubbing, but what do you expect?) That's why so many of us wear goggles. What with your average human bathing once a month, the fumes get to us, especially given the heights of our eyes relative to human anatomy. (Dwarves don't actually smell that bad, being made mostly of stone. They smell primarily of old beer and forge-soot, though the colonies of things that take up residence in their beards can occasionally be troublesome.)

Waves of Madness

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Argent Dawn has, of late, been plagued with the sudden appearance of massive groups of crazy gnomes, quite distinct from the madness of leprosy. These events generally involve large numbers of young gnomes who tear off their clothes, babble madly, and occasionally speak of Blackrock. Perhaps, rather than coming from Gnomeregan, they are refugees escaped from some insanity-inducing slave pit in Blackrock Mountain, victims of the foul goings-on of the dwarves, orcs, dragons, and elementals that infest that wretched place.

In any case, these invasions have called some to question what has happened to the more rational gnomes they used to know and love. Us elder gnomes are still around. I've just been busy practicing being crotchety. It's hard work being cantankerous and complaining about the madness that infects the periodic waves of young gnomes who were mysteriously hiding in Gnomeregan and only just now escaped. This is clearly part of a great plot to ruin our image as a species. Those aren't real gnomes! As soon as I dissect a few, I'll have proof…

Clearly these gnomes have contracted Mad Gnome disease. They must be put down and not introduced to the food supply.

We must strive to keep this disease from spreading as it could pose a threat more dangerous than even the scourge should it be able to take root.

Hurry up with the autopsy reports! I want to see dissected gnomes. Global Underground News reported that they thought the gnomes were mechanical, and spawned from some forgotten gnome engine or other. What's your take, Neni?

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Unfortunately, they got a bit singed and flattened in the capturing process (darn overeager Infernals). While I can't tell you much, I can confirm that they were biological, not mechanical.

The Halls of Gnomeregan

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There is a place in Gnomeregan
They call the Engine Room.
It's been the ruin of many a poor gnome,
And, oh, I know I'm one.

My mother was a tinker;
She made me new machines.
My father was an engineer,
Down in Gnomeregan.

Now the only thing a tinker needs
Is a blowtorch and a wrench,
And the only time she's satisfied
Is when she's raising stench.

Oh, mother, tell your children
Not to do what I have done—
Spend your lives in din and theory
In the halls of the Engine Room.

Well, I got one foot on the platform,
The other foot on the tram.
I'm goin' back to Gnomeregan
To kill that Thermaplugg.

There is a place in Gnomeregan
They call the Engine Room.
It's been the ruin of many a poor gnome,
And, oh, I know I'm one.

The Grammar, She is Confusing

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When Rylle brought up the topic of appending an "ess" to races and classes to form the feminine version, my fellow gnomish warlock Shillandy replied:

Umm... Rylle... I know you're a bigot who can't accept anyone elses culture, but in the Matriarchal Gnomish Society, it is the men who are the "esses" and all of the gender references for males are derived from their female counter parts.

example: gnome: woman. magnome: man. And also, the word "gnome" can refer to either a female gnome, or be unspecific, but never a male specifically.

Thanks for reinforcing the stereotypes that have oppresed magnomes for thousands of centuries. Real top notch. No, really, A+. Great. Well freakin' done.

Elves, Gnomes, and All That

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Fellow gnomish philosopher Geeker wisely observed:

The Problem With Night Elves

You know, we have a serious problem on our hands! A disaster! Night Elves!

There are many facts that show us that Night Elves are just wrong. Not just wrong, terribly wrong! Unimaginably wrong! I sputter at the mere thought! (Although being a Gnome is takes more then mere thought to be a sufficient way to think!)

Why Night Elves are Wrong:

1. So many Night Elves.

Night Elves, well, most of the Druids anyway, most of the male Druids, anyway, hibernated, right? For like 10 billion years? Right? And tons of them died in a war like 10 billion gazillion years ago. But, it's been approx 5 years since the Druids have awaken, but apparently Night Elves hold the highest population! But, there's more. If the population has increased so, why does there seem to be so many Night Elf Female on Night Elf Female situations that are encountered out in the wild!? It's paradox!

2. So many Night Elves NOT in Darnassus.

Night Elves are stuck up, and super protective of their own lands, right? Some can't even stand other races, they're inferior, right? So why are there so many Night Elves in Ironforge and Stormwind? Why so many of all places in Elwynn Forest, the spawn of inferior creatures? Paradox!

3. There is not one surviving Night Elf ship.

Every Night Elf ship is at the bottom of the Davy Jone's Bankbox. Even between Auberdine to Darnassus, it's not a Night Elf ship. Whether it's Murloc, plesiosaur, or sea weed, the Night Elf frigate sinks. BUT - Their new home is in the middle of the ocean. That's so insane I'm flabbergasted!

4. Night Elf females.

Night Elf females run like little girls. Night Elf females clap like little girls. Night Elf females sit on their knees like little girls, listening intently all bright eyed and trusting and such. Night Elf girls spin in the air when they die like a little girl taking a two handed mace to the head. Night Elf males walk like penthouse owners. YOU PEOPLE ARE SICK AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES HOW CAN YOU THINK SUCH THINGS YOU DIRTY DIRTY BAD PEOPLE THATS GOT TO BE THE MOST HORRIBLE TERRIBLE THING AND SO TWISTED AND WRONG AND AARRRRRGGG!!!!!!

*achem*

Excuse me.

5. Night Elves are confused.

Night Elves are not werewolves. Night Elves are not vampires. Night Elves are not undead. Night Elves are not demons. They're a people of nature conscious guardians, whom are weaker at day then are at night. The moon is their guide, not the sun. Yet they all tell me to "Step out and feel the sun, virgin."

6. Night Elf and their relations to animals.

There was a hunter, who's pet was a Night Saber. A Druid was nearby, in feline form. The Druid was flirting with the Night Saber. YOU PEOPLE NEED TO BE LOCKED UP YOU SICK SICK BAD TWISTED EVIL SO WRONG SO WRONG I CANT EVEN IMAGINE HOW YOU BEGIN TO THINK ARRRRRGGGG!!!!!!

*Holds breath and counts to ten*

Night Elves are just wrong. If you know any more reason why, please tell me so I can attempt to solve the Night Elf malady, there are still many things to calculate.

And then some blockhead human named Helfdayne had to try and look cute:

The Problem With Gnomes.

(By the way, I'm doing this all in jest.)

1. Throngs of Gnomes..

Have you ever noticed its rare to see a single Gnome? I'm not saying it doesn't happen. But more often than not, they come in masses. There's something oddly disturbing about a pack of three foot tall things rushing towards you.

2. The hand motions..

I mean, come on! How many times have you heard a Gnome say only a single word, and yet their hands continue to wave and gesture for seconds afterwards? How many different gestures really go along with "Greetings."? What's even more odd is when they say a lengthy sentence and punctuate with only one gesture. It leaves you hanging, response stuck in your throat because you were expecting a minute's worth of gestures, at the least.

3. The hair..

On male Gnomes more so than females. Its a sad day when I finally start to think I've found someone with worse hair than the Undead and Trolls. And that little double curly-que in the front.. *shudders*

4. Their obsession with things that explode..

Its just not healthy. I can respect a penchant for inventing things. That's admirable. But explosives should not be played with. Having your party blown up by one of its own is an ignoble way to die.

5. Their plan to free their homeland..

So who was it exactly that thought irradiating Gnomeregan would be a good idea? 'Nuff said.

In conclusion, I believe that all Gnomes should have a keeper, sort of like a big brother/sister. You know, someone to teach them how to correctly comb their hair, wean them off their pack tendencies and make sure they don't blow anything up.

*This has been a public service message brought you, by me.*

Well, I have a retort or two for him!

1. Clearly, this is racism. I find myself alone quite often, but you taller races must just be ignoring lone gnomes. Perhaps your vision is too poor to make us out all the way down at ground level unless we start massing.

2. Gnomes are so smart that we have so much to say that it can't be conveyed fast enough by mere speech. We need hand gestures to carry additional information only of interest to us gnomes (because you're not smart enough to understand it). The Bene Gesserit totally stole their hand signals from us.

3. You're just jealous that your species can't grow green or pink hair.

4. We don't make things that explode. That's goblins you're thinking of. We make things that don't explode. Things that explode are a mere side-product, but one we learn to make the best of.

5. Don't get me started on Gnomeregan. The lunatics behind that are all (un)dead. Let the place stay the tomb it is. Or blast it off the underface of Azeroth. I don't care.

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