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GNOMES of Midnight

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GNOMES of Midnight

Post by The Hive Mind on Thu May 15, 2014 1:11 pm

The gnomes are a clever and resourceful race. Though it is well known that they share ancient kin with the dwarves, even the Kurgun do not like to claim responsibility for the lineage. Gnomes are barely taller than halflings, with only a slightly stouter build. They are bronze skinned but pale eyed, with jet black hair that they keep short as they are constantly in and out of the water.

Gnomish culture and history are characterized by their adaptable nature. Their nimble outlook on life allowed them to first move from mountain life to that of the coastal hills of the Ebon Sea, and from there to become adroit seafarers and river runners. Though forced to flee before the onslaught of the Dornish invasions, their solicitous demeanors and mercenary hearts allowed them to return to their conquerors bearing little ill will and offering their services as merchants and guides. The gnomes even welcomed the Sarcosans, knowing that they could stand to make a profit as the newcomers’ liaisons to the fey.

Through all these years and new trading partners, the gnomes always knew that their conquerors longed only for land and goods. With the coming of Izrador, this is not the case. They cannot fool themselves into believing that the orcs and their dark god will be content to let the survivors of the wars live their lives in peace; whatever the eventual goals of the Shadow, the gnomes know that Eredane cannot survive the heavy-plated burden of his orcs and the dark mantle of his legates. But the river fey’s strength was not in war. So, as always, they bowed before their new masters and offered to serve.

Or so it seemed.

Though the race has been subjugated along with the halflings, gnomes continue to enjoy a sort of freedom. Even the forces of the Shadow need to transport cargo and soldiers, and the river barges of the gnomes suit this purpose well. The orcs and legates suffer the existence of the gnome barges so long as they move only cargoes in Izrador’s name, while the traitor princes and the false sussars give them free reign so long as they receive the first pick of choice goods from afar.

Most other races see the cost of this semi-freedom as the worst kind of enemy collaboration. What few realize is that the gnomes fight the dark god in their own way: as consummate spies and smugglers. It is their secret trade that keeps weapons, magic, and information flowing among the free races of Eredane.

Gnomes wear loose pants and garish vests marked with the trader seal of their family. Rafters carry sharp daggers hidden in their belts and use small crossbows to spear pike or to protect their crews from hungry river eels. When they get the odd chance to turn their crossbows on the occasional orc, the weapons prove both stealthy and lethal.

GNOME RACIAL TRAIT

+4 Charisma, -2 Strength
Small creature: +1 size bonus to AC, +1 size bonus to attack rolls, +4 size bonus to Hide checks; must use smaller weapons than Medium creatures and lifting/carrying limits are three-quarters of those of Medium characters.
Base land speed 20 feet.
Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes treat hand crossbows as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
Favored Region: Central Erenland. Gnomes' favored region bonuses increase by +2 when thay are on rivers.
Low-light vision.
Dwarven Kin: +1 racial bonus on Fortitude saving throws and +2 racial bonus on saves against spells and spell-like effects.
Natural Riverfolk: Gnomes gain a +2 racial bonus on Perform, Profession (boater and sailor), Swim, and Use Rope checks. Additionally, they may swim at one-half their land speed with a move action, and may swim at their land speed with a full-round action. Finally, gnomes can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to three times their Constitution score.
Natural Traders: Whenever engaged in interactions involving trading or smuggling, gnome gain a +4 racial bonus on Appraise, Bluff, Diplomacy, Forgery, Gather Information, and Profession checks.
Gnomes may begin play with watercraft (at on-quarter normal cost).
Automatic Languages: Trader's Tongue, any one unrestricted language at basic competence, and any one unrestricted language at pidgin competence. Bonus Languages: Any unrestricted languages.
Favored Class: Rogue.
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