Every Tuesday, we chortle in sadistic glee as Varialyta attempts to compress a complex story into 500 words or less for the consumption of the Ritalin generation. This week’s topic: Gnomes (snicker)
Gnomes take up less space than dwarves. This is true not only because their stature is even more diminutive than their cousins’ (hard to believe, I know!), but because their recorded history is even sparser.
“Cousins,” you ask? “You mean they’re related?”
Why yes, dear reader. In a sense, they are cousins, of a sort, though not technically related in any genetic sense of the word.
Like dwarves, gnomes appear to have originated with the Titans. While the dwarves are descendants of the earthen, the gnomes are descendants of clockwork robots called mechagnomes. Both races appear to have been created by the Titans to assist in their shaping of Azeroth, and left behind by them as stewards over their work. This is speculation on my part, but having seen where and how their remnants are deployed around the world, it would appear the earthen were more to keep things well-guarded, and the mechagnomes to keep things running.
At any rate, these mechagnomes were transformed by the Curse of Flesh into the creatures we see (and punt!) today.
That’s all we know of their origins. Their doings since that time are almost more obscure, as they not only kept few (no?) written records, but also had no oral history as the Tauren had.
We do know that gnomes have played a part in the Kirin Tor (think of them as the Keepers of Things Magical–maybe I should write a post about them in future) since the establishment of the first Guardian of Tirisfal. But that role has been relatively limited.
They seem to have assisted somewhat in the First War, but really became a key player in the Second War, where their mechanical inventions–aircraft, possible submarines, and all kinds of fancy weaponry–contributed greatly to the Alliance efforts in fending off the Old Horde. Their participation in this war cemented their ties with the Alliance.
So when the Third War came around, the Alliance tried to turn to their little friends for aid, but were never answered. It turned out that between the wars, the gnome capitol city, Gnomeregan, had been invaded from below by troggs–which we learned before were also descended from earthen, but were an evolutionary branch most civilized folk would prefer had died out. In the end, the gnomes lost their battle against the troggs, and were left decimated and homeless. By some counts, half the gnome world was wiped out by their attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction to kill off the troggs; by other counts, as many as 80% were lost.
The dwarves carved out a piece of their capitol, Ironforge, for their staunch (though slightly less stout) allies. Since that time, the gnomes have been focused on retaking their beloved city (well, that and inventing ever-more-complicated mechanical contraptions).