The origin of the gnomish race lies with a group of mischievous sprites that inhabited gemstones. Their king once trapped the koblod diety in a mine shaft and tricked him into revealing the secret of ascending to godhood. The king used this knowledge to become a god himself, and grant mortal bodies to his subjects. Owing to their fey nature, gnomes are often viewed as flighty and eccentric by other mortal races. Gnomes love bright colors, lights, gems, and pranks. Gnomes are also brilliant tinkerers and inventors, if they can remain focused long enough to follow through with their inventions.
Although they remained neutral through most of the dwarven-elvish wars, a group of gnomes eventually allied themselves with the dwarves. This clan of innovators were welcomed in the dwarven capitol, where the dwarven focus on military might helped keep the gnomes on task. Soon the gnomes were producing inventions like the crossbow, advanced siege engines, and had even begun top secret research into black powder. This group of gnomes were entirely wiped out in the cataclysm, and most of their research was lost.
Today, the gnomes operate as they always have, forming small nations that try and avoid foreign entanglements. These nations are often appear chaotically run, but somehow always manage to make ends meet. Gnomes frequently leave their homes on a whim, and are common sights in almost any city in the civilized world.