How to Roleplay: Gnomes, The History of Gnomekind!
Hello and welcome to my next section in my How to Roleplay guide! This section will cover Azeroth's smallest sentient race – the Gnomes!
Gnomes are curious creatures, and little is known of them before the Dwarves discovered them. Although as time has gone by they have discovered more and more of their origins, before the Second War their history is fragmented as the Gnomes are, as a rule, more likely to write construction manuals than history books, and engineering has always been there number one priority. There has been occasional documented evidence of Gnomes meeting Humans and Dwarves in old Lordearon, however these were not ambassadors for their race.
The origins of Gnomes lies entwined in the origin of the Dwarves – The Titans! Since the re-discovery of Storm Peaks by the, ahem, more civilised nations of Azeroth, it has come to light that the current Gnomes we know and punt are the descendents of Mechagnomes, mechanical Gnomes created by the Titans to help document data about Azeroth as it grew and evolved until the Azeroth we know today. They were afflicted by the Curse of the Flesh that also affected the Earthern, turning them into Dwarves. Unlike the Dwarves, however, there is no evidence they went into a deep sleep, forgetting their task. It seems that they gradually devolved from Mechagnomes into Gnomes while documenting the world around them all the way, and although they lost a great amount of their intellectual capacity for storing data, they became better able to adapt to their world, as well as still being one of, if not the most intelligent race on Azeroth. Interestingly, Mechagnomes still exist as a later model, adapted to be resistant to the Curse of Flesh, and can be found in Borean Tundra and Storm Peaks. In fact, one of the Mechagnomes in Borean Tundra has a way to turn Gnomes back into Mechagnomes, reversing the Curse of Flesh. As this would strip them of their identity and turn them into mindless data processing machines, most Gnomes would prefer he didn't try on them! Traces of the Gnomes origin can also be found in Storm Peaks, where large quantities of Mechagnomes reside and by questing through the entire zone in long and complicated arcs you can discover all I have just told you!
The story told by Gnomes and Dwarves alike is that Dwarves and Gnomes both were residing in Dun Morogh, but due to the dense snowy peaks of the region did not bump into each other until around 200 years before World of Warcraft started. A Dwarven explorer stumbled into a small Gnomish town and was amazed and faintly horrified to discover that while Dwarves had only just discovered gunpowder, the Gnomes had a fully mechanical village, complete with clockwork chickens! That chance encounter was the birth of diplomatic meetings and soon the alliance grew to the point that the Dwarves allowed the Gnomes to build Gnomergan in Dun Morogh. Since then, the Gnomes have provided most of the blueprints for new, visionary weapons to defeat the Alliances foes. This story contrasts, however, to the fact that Humans had diplomatic relations with the Gnomes more than 2600 years ago. Two Gnomes were on the Council of Tirisal, the most famous of whom was Indus the Tinkerer, who along with Meryl Felstorm (then Winterstorm) would empower the first The%20Guardian%20of%20Tirisfal<img%20src="https:/www.assoc-amazon.co.uk/e/ir?t=infobarrel04-21&l=ur2&o=2"%20width="1"%20height="1"%20border="0"%20alt=""%20style="border:none%20!important;%20margin:0px%20!important;"%20/>" target="_blank">Guardian of Tirisfal, Adoli, a talented mage and coincidently a half elf. It seems the job attracts a lot of hybrids! It is possible the newer story is a retcon, or merely that the Humans and Gnomes fell out of contact and were forgotten about in the wash of history passing!
During the First War, the Gnomes and Dwarves aided the Humans when the Orcs came raveging through the Dark Portal after an unsuccesful Orcish attack on Ironforge left them hungry for revenge. The Gnomish aid is somewhat forgotten, however, as they had to rely on a Dwarven representation in inter-racial meetings.
During the Second War, the Gnomes provided technology such as gyrocopters and submarines that helped the Alliance fight back the Orcs through the Dark Portal. The rivalry between the Gnomes and the Goblins, who provided explosive technology (if you can call it technology!) to the Horde, has lasted to this day.
During the Third War, however, the Gnomes closed the doors of Ironforge and did not send any aid to the Alliance, although their designs were still crucial to helping defeat the Burning Legion. The Alliance were shocked at this betrayal, however closer investigation showed that the evolutionary throwback the Troggs, discussed in my Dwarven articles, had invaded Gnomergan. Not wanting to call on the Alliance for help in their time of need, the Gnomes shut their borders and tried to deal with the threat themselves. Despite fighting valiently however, the Troggs were victorious and the Gnomes lost both their captial city and 80% of their population. The ragged survivors, grinning through their horror as Gnomes do, retreated to Ironforge and built Tinker Town as a home for themselves.
Since the fall of their city, the Gnomes have been dedicated to building bigger,brighter and better weapons for the Alliance and Operation Gnomeregan to retake their city. Prior to the Cataclysm, High Tinker Mekkatorque led a large scale invasion force to retake Gnomergan after several years of smaller scale attacks by heroes (read: players who went in every day for shinies to kill the same guy since Vanilla WoW and who still isn't dead!), and this was a huge success, revitalizing the Gnomish people and wiping out a lot of Troggs. It will be a long time and a lot of bloodshed before the Gnomes are once again in their city again, but the Gnomes are cheerful as always and are looking forward to a much brighter future.
Thank you for reading my article, and look out for my next one, which will describe the culture and physical appearences of the Gnomish people! If you want to read more about a Gnomish first small steps, check out Crystalnici's article on playing a Gnome here!