Asradi, Land of Mystery
Gnomes are extremely curious and don’t really hang on to possessions. The only reason gnomes aren’t the main inventors is that as soon as one gnome puts down his amazing invention, another one picks it up and mod-s it, and after a bunch of people have mod-ed it, it no longer works in any way recognizable to how it was supposed to originally. They have a very communal way of life, everything belongs to everyone in general, and they don’t really have a sense of possession. If one gnome family is living in a house and decides to move, they leave that house and pick another one that isn’t currently occupied, while anyone else could move into the one they vacated, with no transfer of deeds or ownership. The only exceptions to this are when you need something (spell-book, armor, weapons) it gains semi-sentience and follows you until you either purposefully get rid of it or no longer need it. If you are forcibly parted from it (robbed, imprisoned without equipment), you feel compelled to re-unite with the items that are missing.
Grassland Halflings are willing to trade, but very similar to African clicky tribes, stuck in the stone ages. They are nomadic herders, roaming the plains and taking care of their hobbe. They have a few trading villages set up on the edges of the plains, and the tribes that care for the villages are notably more advanced technologically than the more nomadic tribes, with things such as looms, shears, and the like. The hobbe herding tribes take extremely good care of their birds, and the animals are highly prized among other peoples as dedicated, intelligent mounts. The tribes in the trading villages tend to keep sheep such as angora, and make brightly colored tapestries from their wool using dyes that they have traded for. Everyone perceives them as barbarians, however they have a more complex inter-tribe system than most would give them credit for. Each tribe is ruled over by a pair of elders, and the elders all gather once a year and share verbal records of what has transpired that year. At each of these meetings, called Moots by the tribes, young unmarried adults are allowed to attend to bargain for their partners. The females bring some small dowry, either animals they have cared for or tapestries they have made, and the males bring forth proof of their expertise and capability to support a family, usually in the form of hunting trophies or a sum of earnings from animals they have cared for. There are official oracles for each tribe, who guide the elders in decisions and maintain the oral history of the tribes, as well as a few oracles who work outside the tribe and live in one of the villages. The village oracles take turns traveling and gathering information from the tribe oracles as they meet them, as well as attend all Moots. There are approximately twenty main tribes at any given time and an unknown amount of sub-tribes, however since they fluctuate in size some sub-tribes end up disappearing and others have formed in their place, thus making it hard to keep track of them. Most tribes vary in size from about 30-100, with the sub-tribes ranging in size from about 5-20. Five of these tribes inhabit the trading villages, and the others roam the grasslands. The sub-tribes are mainly the out-riders of the main tribe they came from, and are under the leadership of the elders for their main tribe. They are also counted among the main tribe for the purpose of the Moots, and for the oracles information. They communicate using broken gnomish or broken common, but have created a form of speech similar to that of the rainforest halflings, half gnomish and half animalistic, albeit much more developed than the rainforest version.
Rainforest Halflings are more stationary, building tree villages which they guard most zealously. They use stone and wooden tools, if any, and their villages seem more like large nests in a common area, with vines and interwoven branches as the main forms of travel. They very rarely leave the tree branches, usually only to retrieve ripened fruit or vegetation of some sort, or to make sure that attacking predators are dead by cutting off the head and carrying it back into the tree branches as a trophy. They speak using a strange mixture of animal sounds and gnomish that they have adapted, commonly referred to by the gnomes as halfling, since it is half and half. They also have a system of clicky speech, where they use various clicks, whistles, and hums to convey their meanings. Not much else is known about them, as they can be extremely violent upon infiltration of their village, however they are extremely curious and will steal everything from anyone found dead in their territory, to further examine it, especially if it is shiny. They appear to be not much more developed than monkeys at this point, and in fact their behavior often resembles that of other primates. Their saving grace is that upon captivity, they have the potential to develop much as a normal gnome or human would, and when gnomes come across a seemingly orphaned child or baby, they are in the custom of taking them to the grassland halflings to adopt. A few brave (or foolhardy) gnomes have even adopted one of these strange creatures themselves, with great success at turning them into more civilized creatures. The one thing they have a hard time with is breaking them of the need to collect all shiny things. Beyond that, there is no information as of yet.
Desert Gnomes are from the same stock as the mainland gnomes. The story goes that there were two brothers, ___________ and _______________, that were the leaders of the gnomes in Asradi. One of the brothers welcomed trade, and grew to love interaction with the other races and peoples of not only Asradi, but the world. The other looked down upon the other races, and felt that gnomes were in all ways superior to the rest. Eventually, there came a falling out between the brothers, and __________, who felt gnomes were superior, decided to leave with whomever would follow him, and retreat to lands where the inferior races would not come into contact with him. He traveled far into the north, beyond all known territories, until he came to a great mountain range, surrounding a harsh desert. He decided that this would be his new home, because no one would dare try to follow him in there. He set up a tribal system of life, and he, his followers, and all of their descendants have lived there ever since. Over time, they have fractured into much smaller tribes. There came another point in time, when traders came to the edge of the desert, that the desert gnomes were again divided by opinions. Many of them realized that trade was good, even if with inferior beings, and set up cities carved into the mountains where they allowed other races to come to trade. The others still believed that they were better than everyone else, and now even their former brethren were below them by trading with others. They have sought refuge within the deeper depths of the desert, traveling from oasis to oasis, and only trading with the mountain-desert gnomes in cases of need. The offspring of all the desert tribes are allowed to decided for themselves whether to live in the mountains, or the desert, and find a place for themselves accordingly. The mountain-desert gnomes have also carved a school into their city, similar to the one the main gnomes have. It started out very much the same, in fact, but with more aggressive and necessary magics, and less of the “flowy, silly stuff” that most gnomes are taught. Over the past few years however, it seems to be taking a turn towards more war-like and necromantic magics.
Gnomes have the only magic school, and so are the ones have most of the wizards. You attend the school for 5 years (unless kicked out or dropped out) and you can learn/ acquire up to 5th level spells in your spell book. If you stay the entire time, you leave as a 1st level wizard. If you leave before then, depending on when you left, you may or may not be a 1st level wizard. Gnomes with exceptional talent are picked to attend the magic school, and all they need do is buy supplies, such as books, basic spell components, etc. Gnomes with more latent talent that want to go anyway must pay tuition fees (500 gp per year), find someone from the school to take them (excepting gnomish siblings, especially twins, who are not separated, ie all siblings are admitted if one has exceptional talent), as well as buy the same supplies. Non-gnomes with exceptional talent must get a gnomish patron to sponsor them, find someone from the school to take them to it, pay tuition fees (2,000 gp per year), and buy the same supplies. No one can find the school unless taken, or unless they have already been admitted/ graduated from the school previously. When they graduate, gnomes get “What’s-it Bag”, which holds any and all random items placed in pockets, pouches, or bags around the gnome, and the contents may all be used as spell components. Non-gnomes receive (). All students must bring their own atheme (ie wand, staff, rod, etc). Gnomes get improved familiar automatically, and finding a suitable familiar is a life goal. Gnomes are allowed both bonded item and familiar, while non-gnomes only get one of their choice.
What’s-it pouch % Table for what you pull out, and % table for whether or not it effects the spell.
|2-4||normal||56-60||handful of shot and powder|
|5-7||whetstone||61-65||ever burning torch|
|24-27||holy symbol||84-86||handful of pristine nuts and bolts|
|41-43||bell||96-99||vial of ink|
|44-48||pocket watch||100||rusty nuts and bolts|