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Playable races in World of Warcraft
TBC Draenei · Dwarf · Gnome · Human · Night elf · Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gif Worgen MoP Pandaren
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This article is about the race in general. For the playable race, see Gnome (playable). For the language, see Gnomish.
Gnomes
Tinker Art Seaclock.jpg
Faction/Affiliation Alliance
Character classes Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, WotLK Death knight; Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gif Priest The RPG Icon 16x36.png Tinker, Techno mage, Steam warrior, Ace, Bombardier, Gunman, Sapper, Archmage, Necromancer, Potion doc
Racial capital New Tinkertown
Racial leader(s) IconSmall Mekkatorque.gif Gelbin Mekkatorque
Racial mount Mechanostrider
Homeworld Azeroth
Primary language(s) Gnomish, Common
Secondary language(s) Dwarven, Goblin, Thalassian

The ingenious gnomes, masters of technology and the former denizens of Gnomeregan, are a race of diminutive humanoids who spent years in exile in Tinker Town in the dwarven capital of Ironforge before launching a partially-successful recapture of Gnomeregan. Their main base of operations is now New Tinkertown.

Contents

Introduction

The clever, spunky, and oftentimes eccentric gnomes present a unique paradox among the civilized races of Azeroth. Brilliant inventors with an irrepressibly cheerful disposition, this race has suffered treachery, displacement, and near-genocide. It is their remarkable optimism in the face of such calamity that symbolizes the truly unshakable spirit of the gnomes.[1]

Gnomes are a diminutive, wiry race of tinkers who live underground. In the Second War, they built gadgets and vehicles, such as submarines and flying machines, for the Alliance to combat the Horde. They are great mechanics and inventors, renowned for their knowledge and eccentric natures. The gnomes had a city, Gnomeregan, built into Ironforge Mountain, but invading troggs destroyed it and slaughtered its citizens. Many survivors now live with the Ironforge dwarves, a few traveling with their dwarven friends to Kalimdor. The gnomes are still reeling from the destruction of their home city and are loath to leave the safety of the dwarven tunnels.

Most gnomes on Kalimdor remain secluded in Bael Modan. Even after the decimation of their race and the destruction of their city, gnomes are an amiable and kindhearted lot. They make and keep friends easily; other races often find disliking a gnome to be difficult. Gnomes are long-lived and take a fatherly approach to other races, particularly humans. Gnome society is loosely organized, with most living in Khaz Modan and mixing freely with the dwarves, sending representatives to speak to the dwarven king on their behalf. Those few gnomes who traveled to Kalimdor live in a similar fashion in Bael Modan. Gnomes are gifted tinkers, and have a penchant for creating radical technology and innovative designs. They often work together with Ironforge dwarves, developing the blueprints and concepts from which the dwarf smiths draw their inspiration.[2]

History

The eccentric, often-brilliant gnomes are one of the most peculiar races of the world. A race of diminutive beings, gnomes have made their mark on Azeroth through the application of a collective intelligence and ambition overshadowing that of their larger peers. Gnomes are renowned mechanics, engineers, and technicians, widely respected for their knowledge of the scientific facets of the world and their ability to transform said knowledge into surprising tools, vehicles, armor, and weapons. Much of gnomish philosophy is focused on forward-thinking, inventive concepts; little thought has ever been given to history or non-scientific records. With their obsession for developing radical new technologies and constructing marvels of mind-bending engineering, it is a wonder that any gnomes have survived to proliferate.

No one knows much about the gnomes' history before dwarves discovered them; not even the gnomes know much of their own history prior to the Second War.[3] Historically, there are some records of gnomes having contact with other races. There is the occasional historical documentation of individual gnomes having contact with humans and high elves in the northern continent of Lordaeron in Tirisfal Glades as early as 848 years before The Burning Crusade.

Origin

The first gnomes that came into existence were "mechagnomes", small, metal clockwork-creatures created by the Watcher Mimiron[4]. It is unknown why he created them, although it is most likely they were created to help the Titans shape Azeroth along with the earthen and the sea giants. What is known is that the mechagnomes, like many other beings creatures with Titan origins, were affected by the Curse of Flesh. Some mechagnomes gradually turned into the fleshy variant seen today. Also for unknown reasons, this knowledge has been lost by the gnomish race. Information of this evolution can still be found in various locations, gradually explaining how the gnomes appeared on Azeroth.

One of the major sources of this info is Gearmaster Mechazod, a mechagnome that was found by normal gnomes in the Borean Tundra during the building of an airstrip. He claims to be one of the first "gnomes" ever created, created by a titan called "The Grand Architect" within Ulduar. Not only does Mechazod confirm that fleshy gnomes are a result of the Curse of Flesh, he also possesses the ability to remove the curse and thus revert fleshy gnomes back to mechagnomes. Still, most fleshy gnomes would prefer he didn't. Other traces of the gnomes' past can be found in the Storm Peaks which contains a large population of mechagnomes. These have been found maintaining titan data, and even riding mechanostriders, adopted from their gnomish descendants.

As there are mechagnomes still in existence today despite the Curse of Flesh, they are likely a later version, or possibly original versions adapted to be immune to the Curse, a similar situation to the titans' discovery of the curse in the evolution of the dwarves.

Newer history

Gnome artwork.

The first widely recorded interaction between gnomes and dwarves occurred a little over 200 years prior to The Burning Crusade. As the story goes, a dwarven explorer came across a small gnomish village. He was shocked to discover that while dwarves had just discovered gunpowder, the gnomes already had a fully automated village with such novelties as mechanical chickens. Contact between the two races grew, and soon, they became quick allies, and the dwarves allowed the gnomes to build their capital city, Gnomeregan, in the foothills of Dun Morogh, near the Dwarven capital, Ironforge.[3] It is, however, somewhat odd that the gnomes could be "discovered" like this when an intellectual represent for the gnomish race were among the members of a human organization more than 2600 years ago (see Legacy below). This possibly implies a retcon.

Thriving within the wondrous techno-city of Gnomeregan, the gnomes shared the resources of the forested Dun Morogh peaks with their dwarven cousins. Though dwarves also have a propensity for technology and engineering, it is gnomes who provide the critical, visionary designs for most of dwarven weapons and steam vehicles.

The First, Second and Third War

A gnome in the Second War.

When the orcs from Draenor rushed out from the Dark Portal and caused the First War, the various human kingdoms decided to forge an alliance in order to drive them back. This alliance also included the dwarves and the gnomes who after witnessing the orcs' attack upon Ironforge decided to strike back. The gnomes did not have their own representative in the meetings between the different factions and were instead also represented by the delegate from Ironforge.

The gnomes served the Alliance well during the Second War, providing useful technology such as submarines and gyrocopters. It helped the Alliance to win the war, pushing the orcs back through the portal. In many ways they were the counterpart to the goblins which supported the orcs with their own inventions. This technological battle between gnomes and goblins has survived to this day, and has recently been fueled by the Bilgewater Cartel joining the Horde.

Strangely, the gnomes refused to send any personnel to aid their allies during the Burning Legion's invasion during the Third War. Though their designs also helped turning the tide against the Legion, both the humans and the Ironforge- and Wildhammer-dwarves were shocked by Gnomeregan's decision to withhold their courageous troops and pilots.

When the Third War ended, the Alliance discovered the reason for the gnomes' sudden withdrawal. Apparently, a barbaric menace — troggs — had risen from the bowels of the earth and invaded Gnomeregan. Knowing that their allies' priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the gnomes decided to make their stand alone against the troggs.

Though they fought valiantly to save their beloved city, Gnomeregan was lost and nearly eighty percent of the gnomish race was wiped out during its fall. The ragged survivors fled to the safety of Ironforge.[5] There, they made a new home in Tinker Town.

In the aftermath of Gnomeregan's fall

Gelbin Mekkatorque

Committed once again to the cause of the Alliance, gnomes spend their time devising strategies and weapons that will help them retake their ravaged city and build a brighter future for their people. Currently, gnomes can be seen living in numerous Alliance and Neutral cities such as Darkshire and Gadgetzan. Many gnomes could also be found at the Mirage Raceway in the Thousand Needles, competing with their goblin rivals, before that area was flooded. (Its replacement, Fizzle and Pozzik's Speedbarge is co-owned by gnomes.) One can also spot the occasional gnome hovel in places like Tanaris, the Hinterlands and Azshara.

The ruling council of the gnomes has reunited in Ironforge at Tinker Town. More recently, gnomish encampments have begun to appear at the fringes of the world, including Toshley's Station in Blade's Edge Mountains and Fizzcrank Airstrip in the Borean Tundra. While the motive behind their activities in Outland is unclear, the gnomish force in Northrend is tasked in establishing a forward base for the Valiance Expedition.

Just prior to the Cataclysm, the gnomes’ leader, High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, led an attack on Gnomeregan’s invaders. It was a successful first maneuver, but there will be much more bloodshed before the entirety of the gnomeland is liberated. In the ongoing effort to reclaim Gnomeregan from Sicco Thermaplugg and his twisted cohorts, the gnomes have carved out a tenuous foothold in New Tinkertown, near the techno-city’s gates.

Legacy

Armed to the teeth!

The first detailed historical account of a gnome is Erbag, the gnomish representative of the Tirisfalen, during the early days of Aegwynn. Erbag was described as being highly talkative as well as rather impatient with Aegwynn. He stands as an accurate and general example of the gnomish psyche. He was already inducted by the time of eight hundred and forty-eight years prior to World of Warcraft and spoke on par with his human and elven counterparts, despite their relative obscurity in historical records.

It is known that Erbag was preceded long before his birth by a female named Indus, also a member of the Council of Tirisfal. 2600 years before the First War, she was the group's gnomish representative in her day. Not only was she a respected, powerful mage, but following her people's penchant for tinkering, she was also known as "the inventor" in Dalaran. She was an associate of founding Council member Meryl Felstorm (then known as Winterstorm). She, Meryl, and the rest of the surviving Council would empower the first Guardian of Tirisfal, an orphaned Half-elf and talented mage named Alodi.

Leaping several hundred years forward, the recent discovery of their past as mechagnomes seems to be the next major step in the history of gnomes. Albeit it's now known that gnomes were created by Mimiron and later transformed by the Curse of Flesh, there is still a lot of missing information between the point at which they became fleshy gnomes and until they began to interact with other races.

Gnomes have not had kings or queens in 400 years.[6][7][8]

No other dates or facts have been given.

Culture

Gnomes are a race of ambitious folk, whose lives are validated by a masterful command of the scientific laws of the universe. This outlook on life makes them feel that to be pitied is unbearable, even insulting, though they know their allies do not do this intentionally. They have been more of a race of scholars throughout their history, generally focused on escaping and avoiding conflict. However, the loss of Gnomeregan and years of hardship and survival amongst increased association with the dwarves have made the gnomes stronger and more comfortable with their physical prowess, giving them a combatant edge. Gnome melee fighters have become more common, and are in general more willing to talk back to Tall Folk then ever before.[9]

Little is actually known about gnomish culture. Though what gnomish life really revolves around is unclear, it is perceived by most to be about striving towards the next levels of technology and knowledge through experimentation and tinkering (this is corroborated by the comments and clothing of gnome NPCs).

From that is known, gnomes do value and follow the hierarchy, but they also understand the hierarchy as the masters duty over the servants, to care for them and help for them. Some senior gnomish engineers may actually have less parts, metals and similar resources than an ordinary engineer, as they tend to share them with the followers. Also, the higher rank is most easy to earn by teaching others, while this of course requires to be a master on a subject. When goblins say they hate hierarchy as the master first cares about himself (so who would want to be the servant), they seem talking in a two completely different languages. Gnome groups are small and form with difficulty over long time. However when once established, they usually last for life, and a gnome reasonably expects much more support and cooperation from the team-mates than a goblin would. When goblin children leave family at maturity and go their own ways, gnome families tend to stay together over generations and usually run some shared business.

It is not known what social norms may exist for gnomish marriages, though Marvin and Tamara Wobblesprocket provide at least one example of humans and gnomes intermarrying. Whether or not half-gnomes might be produced from such unions is unknown. If once created, gnomish family usually lasts for life as gnomes feel duty to stay together not just after the love goes away but even if they already totally dislike each other.

Faith

Izza Spindleflame, a gnome warlock.

Unlike humans, dwarves and draenei, gnomes are not able to follow the Light devoutly enough to become paladins. They may still wield holy powers as priests, but seem to consider its healing abilities more like medicine than magic. Many gnomes are oppositely dark enough to become rogues or even warlocks, having no problem with ordering around minions which are several times larger than themselves. Still, some gnomes fall victims to their own overconfidence.

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Gnomes place their loyalty in themselves, in their friends, and in their inventions. A few follow a loftier path and pay their respects to the Holy Light. Since the Ironforge dwarves' recent discovery of their titanic origins, the gnomes think that they too may be products of the Titans,[10] a theory confirmed by the accidental discovery of the mechagnomes. Some female gnomes have been known as members of the Sisters of Steel that have shown abilities to turn their flesh to stone or steel.

Languages

Gnomes speak Gnomish and Common. Gnomes know the languages of their friends and their goblin rivals.[11] Also, it is not uncommon for gnomes to refer to themselves in the third person.

Gnomish names

Gnome artwork.jpg

Gnome parents name their children at birth. Gnomes have family names that represent an honored ancestor’s achievements, but they only keep these names until some time in their thirties. At this point, gnome society expects them to have made their own achievements, and thus the gnome invents a new name that represents his own accomplishments. This name then takes the place of his family name.

  • Male Names: Grobnick, Kazbo, Hagin, Snoonose.
  • Female Names: Beggra, Nefti, Sorassa, Gamash.
  • Family Names: Spinpistol, Airslicer, Bombtosser, Greatgear.[11]

Technology

See also: Goblins versus Gnomes

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Gnomish-flying-machine-warii.jpg

Gnomes tend to design fairly complicated devices that are relatively safe.[12] Gnomes are in many ways commensurate organizers: a gnome can spend as much time (or more) organizing and planning a project as they do actually working on it. If the design fails, they try to learn why, and fix it if they can. If they meet with success, they will continue to tinker with it and improve the design, often for years afterward. Thus, many gnomish designs feature a high degree of complexity and a low chance of failure, the exceptions being those that dabble with chaos energy — but even then, they take steps to ensure the worst that could happen is a brief, non-fatal failure.[13]

Gnomes overplan new projects, producing blueprints and schematics that can take longer to make than the device itself. While this cautious attitude results in higher quality products and a greater success rate, it often takes so long that cost overruns creep in. While a goblin would scream and flee at the mere thought of a cost overrun, a gnome simply shrugs and presses on. If a project fails to work correctly the first time, a gnome will continue to tinker with it, while a goblin would usually give up and move to something else. Thus, gnomish items have very low failure rates compared to goblin items.[14]

Gnomes are innovative thinkers and are responsible for a vast variety of inventions, including more than a few that are commonly attributed to dwarves. Although a diminutive people, gnomes think big, often producing designs far too complex to ever be realized. To gnomes, technology is a way of life. Even gnomes who take on other trades often tinker in their spare time. Because of their innate curiosity, they produce a wide variety of devices that are interesting or amusing but otherwise useless or impractical. While others might shake their heads at such folly, the gnomes value all invention, no matter how unimportant it might seem. Among the well-known gnomish devices are the world enlarger, net-o-matic projector, and harm prevention belt.[15]

Many gnome machines last for a long time, making a significant capital for generations. Even after new, better machines are build for replacement, the older versions are usually good enough to be stored in the mountain caves, reactivating them when necessary. While goblin can build a more complex and powerful machine for the same price, a really complex machine may break for him before it could be finished. Hence the most advanced systems like Deeprun Tram are still of gnomish origin. Gnome schematics are such that machines and devices can be build as initially thinked hundreds of years ago. However this does not mean they are easy to read or easy to use. Goblin engineers keep saying they suffer strong headaches while reading the stolen gnomish schematics and tend to break out of the middle of specification by finishing the device how they themselves see fit.

Appearance

Weeble, a gnome warrior

Gnomes are small, slight and nifty. They somewhat resemble dwarves, but are even shorter, not as stocky, and have large heads in proportion to their bodies. They have large noses and ruddy skin, their ears are large and rounded, and their hair color varies wildly, some even having pink or green hair. They have four fingers (three fingers, one thumb) on each hand, and five-toed feet. They are often seen with goggles, tool belts and other items related to their technological inclinations.[2]

Before the Gnomeregan incident, some gnomes (such Gnoarn) had earned a reputation for themselves by wearing an eccentric hairstyle known as a "gnomefro".

Thanks to their extremely small size, in World Of Warcraft gnomes can be a hard target to click, making it harder for enemies to target you using their mouse. This is especially helpful in the event the gnome is a warrior or rogue. Gnomes who specialize in melee weapons are also particularly hard to target due to their acrobatic fighting styles combined with their small size. Their small size can also be advantageous to people who like to explore; gnomes, even after Cataclysm was released, are the shortest race, and can go to certain places where character height keeps other races from going.

Relations

Female gnome warlock

Gnomes are great friends of the Ironforge dwarves. They have been allies for generations and often exchange ideas and inventions. Their bond is so great that they live in many dwarven settlements including Ironforge itself. Gnomes have fought and died alongside human soldiers and have been readily welcomed in Stormwind City with open arms. They are wary of the high elves, but so is everyone else, so they don’t feel too bad about that. They battled the Horde in the Second War and have a bit of a grudge against orcs, but gnomes are a kindly and forgiving lot and are willing to give the orcs a second chance. Gnomes and goblins have always been rivals — though whether this rivalry is friendly or brutal depends on the individuals involved. Gnomes have not been on Kalimdor long enough to form proper opinions about its denizens. Tauren and night elves both seem rather rustic for gnome sensibilities — but they can make friends with anyone.[2][16]

Gnomes in night elf territories are tolerated, despite the high number of gnomes who work with arcane forces. The gnomes believe that with their use of arcane magics and technology they offer something that night elves lack in defense. During the cataclysmic arrival of Deathwing, gnome engineers and sappers from Tinker town helped create cannons and bombs for the night elves.

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

With the return of the Shen'dralar Highborne into night elf society, it is possible that gnome mages might be interested in collaborating with the Highborne mages in some fashion.

Notable gnomes

Other gnome races

  • Mechagnomes - Titanic creations that when afflicted with the Curse of Flesh, resulted in the modern gnomish race, much like the history of the Earthen and the Dwarves.
  • Leper gnomes - Normal gnomes that has been corrupted with radiation and poison. Most of them have lost their sanity.
  • Sand gnomes - An elusive race of gnomes only seen in Outland. Many even doubt their existence.
  • Undead gnomes - Although they are not their own race, undeath sometimes gives gnomes a rather unique look.

Notes

  • At first it was said that half of the gnomish race was killed during the trogg invasion,[17] but later it was specified that it was actually eighty percent.[5]
  • Gnomes were, until March 2014, the only original race not to appear in a World of Warcraft cinematic or in any trailer. Tom Chilton had explained that gnomes were added to World of Warcraft "pretty late in its development, when the cinematic was already ... in full production" stating that "since then, there hasn't really been a great opportunity to showcase gnomes," due to factors such as storylines.[18] This was finally rectified when a male gnome was chosen as the main character for Blizzard's "Wish You Were Here" Warlords of Draenor character boost trailer. As well as the gnomes' noted absence in trailers until that point, this model may have been chosen due to being one of the most advanced at the time the trailer was created.
  • In the Second War, gnomes are allied with the Alliance of Lordaeron, but they aren't mentioned in the book Tides of Darkness. However, High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque plays a role in the follow up (Beyond the Dark Portal), as he is in charge of building the transportation system between Stormwind City and Ironforge.
  • Referring to the non-canon RPG race life spans chart, a gnome can actually live for quite some time, becoming mature at the age of 40, middle aged at 100 and old aged only at 150 and higher. (This is most likely just in speculation, and not completely by Lore.) Alternately, in the book Tides of War, Kinndy Sparkshine is mentioned to be a teenager at 22.
  • It appears the position of High Tinker can be held by one person indefinitely, so long as they are re-elected each time their term ends. This is best seen in Gelbin, who has led the Gnomes since he was young and well before the Second War. While unknown how long this is exactly, the Second War was about 20 years before the beginning of World of Warcraft, and Gelbin is an older gnome; meaning he has held the position most of his life.
  • Gnomes sometimes broadly refer to the other sentient races that are not close to their own stature as "Tall Folk".[19]
  • They are voiced by Dino Andrade.

See also

Mythology

A gnome is a mythical creature characterized by its extremely small size and subterranean lifestyle and have a love for building unique items and gear.

References

du:Gnome