The ingenious gnomes, masters of technology and the former denizens of Gnomeregan, are a race of diminutive humanoids, living in Dun Morogh at New Tinkertown in league with the Alliance.
The eccentric, often-brilliant gnomes are one of the most peculiar races of the world. With their obsession for developing radical new technologies and constructing marvels of mind-bending engineering, it is a wonder that any gnomes have survived to proliferate.
No one knows much about the gnomes' history before dwarves discovered them; not even the gnomes know much of their own history prior to the Second War. Historically, there are some records of gnomes having contact with other races. There is the occasional historical documentation of individual gnomes having contact with humans and high elves in the northern continent of Lordaeron in Tirisfal Glades as early as 848 years before The Burning Crusade.
Apparently, the first gnomes that came into existence were "mechagnomes", small clockwork-creatures created by the Titans. It is unknown why the titans created them, though most likely they were created to help shaping Azeroth along with the earthen and the sea giants. What is known is that the mechagnomes, like many other beings created by the titans, were affected by the Curse of Flesh. This gradually turned mechagnomes into the fleshy variant seen today. Also for unknown reasons, this knowledge has been eluded/lost by the gnomish race. Information of this evolution can although still be found on various locations, gradually explaining how the gnomes appeared on Azeroth.
One of the major sources of this info is Gearmaster Mechazod, a mechagnome found by normal gnomes in the Borean Tundra during the building of an airstrip. Not only does Mechazod confirm that the mechagnomes were created by a titan called "The Grand Architect" within Ulduar and that fleshy gnomes are a result of the Curse of Flesh's effect upon mechagnomes, he also possesses the ability to remove this curse and thus revert fleshy gnomes back to mechagnomes. Still, most normal gnomes would prefer he didn't. Other traces of the gnomes' past can be found in the Storm Peaks which contains a large population of mechagnomes.
The first widely recorded interaction between gnomes and dwarves occurred a little over 200 years prior to The Burning Crusade. As the story goes, a dwarven explorer came across a small gnomish village. He was shocked to discover that while dwarves had just discovered gunpowder, the gnomes already had a fully automated village with such novelties as mechanical chickens. Contact between the two races grew, and soon, they became quick allies, and the dwarves allowed the gnomes to build their capital city, Gnomeregan, in the foothills of Dun Morogh, near the Dwarven capital, Ironforge.
Thriving within the wondrous techno-city of Gnomeregan, the gnomes shared the resources of the forested Dun Morogh peaks with their dwarven cousins. Though dwarves also have a propensity for technology and engineering, it is gnomes who provide the critical, visionary designs for most of dwarven weapons and steam vehicles.
The gnomes served the Alliance well during the Second War. Strangely, they refused to send any personnel to aid their allies during the Burning Legion's recent invasion during the Third War. Though their designs helped turn the tide against the Legion, humans and Ironforge and Wildhammer dwarves were shocked by Gnomeregan's decision to withhold their courageous troops and pilots.
When the Third War ended, the Alliance discovered the reason for the gnomes' sudden withdrawal. Apparently, a barbaric menace — troggs — had risen from the bowels of the earth and invaded Gnomeregan. Knowing that their allies' priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the gnomes decided to make their stand alone against the troggs.
Though they fought valiantly to save their beloved city, Gnomeregan was lost and nearly eighty percent of the gnomish race was wiped out during its fall. The ragged survivors fled to the safety of Ironforge.
Committed once again to the cause of the Alliance, gnomes spend their time devising strategies and weapons that will help them retake their ravaged city and build a brighter future for their people. Currently, gnomes can be seen living in numerous Alliance and Neutral cities such as Darkshire, Gadgetzan and Auberdine. Many gnomes can also be found at Mirage Raceway in the Thousand Needles, competing with their goblin rivals. One can also spot the occasional gnome hovel in places like Tanaris, the Hinterlands and Azshara.
The ruling council of the gnomes used to reunite in Ironforge at Tinker Town. In Outland, gnomish encampments appeared at the fringes of the world, including Toshley's Station in Blade's Edge Mountains and in Northrend, Fizzcrank Airstrip in the Borean Tundra. While the motive behind their activities in Outland is unclear, the gnomish force in Northrend is tasked in establishing a forward base for the Valiance Expedition. More recently, the gnomes fought to take back their beloved city, Gnomeregan, but failed to take back the entire city. Instead, they recaptured the surface, known as New Tinkertown and has since stayed there, slowly moving away from Ironforge.
The first detailed historical account of a gnome is Erbag, the gnomish representative of the Tirisfalen, during the early days of Aegwynn. Erbag was described as being highly talkative as well as rather impatient with Aegwynn. He stands as an accurate and general example of the gnomish psyche. He was already inducted by the time of eight hundred and forty-eight years prior to World of Warcraft and spoke on par with his human and elven counterparts, despite their relative obscurity in historical records.
It is known that Erbag was preceded long before his birth by a female named Indus, also a member of the Council of Tirisfal. 2600 years before the First War, she was the group's gnomish representative in her day. Not only was she a respected, powerful mage, but following her people's penchant for tinkering, she was also known as "the inventor" in Dalaran. She was an associate of founding Council member Meryl Felstorm (then known as Winterstorm). She, Meryl, and the rest of the surviving Council would empower the first Guardian of Tirisfal, an orphaned Half-elf and talented mage named Alodi.
Recently, gnomes had discovered Gearmaster Mechazod, a mechagnome, in Northrend. He claimed to be one of the first "gnomes" ever created, like their dwarven cousins, by the titans. Whether he was one of the first could be debated (considering that he was insane), but more mechagnomes have been found maintaining titan data, and even riding mechanostriders. It has become clear that mechagnomes were created by the titans for a certain purpose, much like the earthen were, and were affected by the Curse of Flesh to eventually be transformed into gnomes.
Gnomes have not had kings or queens in 400 years.
Gnomes tend to design fairly complicated devices that are relatively safe. Gnomes are in many ways commensurate organizers: a gnome can spend as much time (or more) organizing and planning a project as they do actually working on it. If the design fails, they try to learn why, and fix it if they can. If they meet with success, they will continue to tinker with it and improve the design, often for years afterward. Thus, many gnomish designs feature a high degree of complexity and a low chance of failure, the exceptions being those that dabble with chaos energy — but even then, they take steps to ensure the worst that could happen is a brief, non-fatal failure.
Gnomes overplan new projects, producing blueprints and schematics that can take longer to make than the device itself. While this cautious attitude results in higher quality products and a greater success rate, it often takes so long that cost overruns creep in. While a goblin would scream and flee at the mere thought of a cost overrun, a gnome simply shrugs and presses on. If a project fails to work correctly the first time, a gnome will continue to tinker with it, while a goblin would usually give up and move to something else. Thus, gnomish items have very low failure rates compared to goblin items.
Gnomes are innovative thinkers and are responsible for a vast variety of inventions, including more than a few that are commonly attributed to dwarves. Although a diminutive people, gnomes think big, often producing designs far too complex to ever be realized. To gnomes, technology is a way of life. Even gnomes who take on other trades often tinker in their spare time. Because of their innate curiosity, they produce a wide variety of devices that are interesting or amusing but otherwise useless or impractical. While others might shake their heads at such folly, the gnomes value all inventions, no matter how unimportant it might seem. Among the well-known gnomish devices are the world enlarger, net-o-matic projector,and harm prevention belt.
In World of Warcraft
- Escape Artist - instant - 1.75 min cooldown: escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.
- Expansive Mind - passive: mana increased by 5%.
- Arcane Resistance - passive: reduces the chance you will be hit by Arcane spells by 2%.
- Engineering Specialization - passive: engineering skill increased by 15.
- Shortblade Specialization - passive: expertise with Daggers and One-handed Swords increased by 3.