Gnome Culture

Gnomish culture is focused around the immediate family, generally living in loose alliance with other gnomes in the nearby area. They rarely have much desire to live in close communities, but prefer to meet regularly for social events and religious rituals. An endless round of visits and courtesy calls is considered preferable to neighbors.

In the Sunset Isles, most gnomes live in or very near dwarvish holds, providing useful magical services to the stolid dwarves and a form of early warning system against increased goblinoid activity on the mountainsides. Disputes among them are very rare, as separated as the families are, and tend to be resolved through an intricate series of negotiations with surrounding families to force the guilty party to make amends. Bad behavior within a family is punished in parental fashion.

A notable trait of gnomish society is their belief in "directing the passions". They often believe that safety lies in understanding the goals of those around you before they have fully formed them. By influencing these goals, the small gnomes can retain a degree of safety in a very large and threatening world. Gnomes are notoriously diplomatic in character and loathe to resort to violence unless victory is assured. Some consider this cowardly, but the gnomes are unimpressed by such obloquy. Status is measured in the respect your family has earned from other gnomes, and not in the talk of tall folk.

Gnomes marry for life, and as soon as the second child is born they leave their maternal household to establish their own. Authority within a household is generally shared between the parents. Gnomes require a large amount of space to live in their traditional fashion, and this need is beginning to become an issue as the gnomish population recovers in the wake of the Red Tide.

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