The Dreadful Winter
Gnomes are spindly humanoids with tanned skin and wizened faces. Though their hair and skill colors vary sharply depending on location, their eyes are invariably bright and sparkling. Gnomes prefer to wear comfortable clothes in bright, primary colors, decorated with gem-encrusted jewelry that would be gaudy by anyone else’s standards.
Most humans find gnomes less threatening than other nonhumans simply due to their small size, but humans remain wary of gnomes’ reputed inborn magical powers and eccentric personalities. Gnomes possess intense intellectual curiosity. They are fascinated by intricate details, be they riddles or the fine cogs of a pocket watch. Gnomes enjoy nothing so much as solving a difficult puzzle—building patterns out of chaos. Gnomes often work as alchemists, gem cutters, engineers, or clockmakers.
As an aside, gnomes are also one of the few races with any interest in psychology, as many view the mortal mind as its own sort of “puzzle”. Some gnomes are skilled therapists and hypnotists, and can be someone’s best hope of reaching mental peace when other routes fail them.
Trusting a gnome can, however, have risky consequences. Many gnomes possess a wicked, morbid sense of humor. Gnomes often pass the time by telling macabre tales laced with irony, and just as they enjoy building patterns out of chaos, sometimes they like to see just how many patterns they can undo. Truly evil gnomes are rare, but so are truly good ones.
Homelands: The largest primarily gnomish settlement in Ravenloft is the town of Mayvin in Darkon. Demand for gnomish skills has also drawn small communities to Valachan and Hazlan. The largest gnome population outside Darkon—still no more than 150 gnomes, all told—exists in Nova Vasa, where it has become fashionable for nobles to have a gnomish jester in their courts.
Base Outcast Rating: 2