HISTORY AND BACKGROUND:
It is commonly believed that the genetic strain of Brutus Nanus did not even exist until after the Fall of the Elves (circa -7,500 BE). There is no real scientific explanation as to how the brutus nanus or "gnomes" came into existence, although the most commonly accepted theory is that they were somehow brought into being as some manner of byproduct of the fluctuating magical energies that ravaged the world during the global cataclysmic events that transpired shortly after the Fall. When the raging fires had burned out and the great storms had passed, the gnomes were quickly taken advantage of by the other races due to their diminutive size and lack of physical strength. They were soon enslaved by the other races, though historians believe that this was not necessarily a bad thing, as the majority of them believe that the only reason the gnomes still exist today is because the other races kept them alive amidst the harsh conditions of the new world, giving them ample opportunity to breed and prolong their existence.
Due to the gnomes' assistance into helping eradicate the strain of brutus magnus in the last century of the Old Calendaring, the gnomes were set free and wholly emancipated in the year 3 AE as a reward and given ships to settle new lands across the seas. Against all odds the gnomes managed to survive their perilous exodus and discovered a new continent across the Sea of Fumes which they named "Xin Xiwang", or New Hope in the common tongue. It is there that they began to build a single empire, ruled by a myriad of different imperialistic dynasties over the centuries, that would end up stretching across the entirety of this new continent and whose size would come to dwarf those realms and kingdoms on the mainland in comparison. A sizable contingent of gnomes did not make the long voyage, however, and this small population of gnomes remained in Altum, primarily settling in Gineas and Sedis, where they were more accepted and could make a living.
In modern times the gnomish race is ostensibly "wholly" ruled over by their current absolute emperor, Zu Wei the Judicious of the Xiu Xi dynasty, whose imperial palace towers over the gnomish capital city of Lan Cheng (commonly known as Azure City), which is considered the only true city in the world that could rival the technology and power of Calidor. According to Imperial gnomes, even those gnomes who refused to make the exodus and have never set foot on Xin Xiwang are still beholden to the Emperor, which is often a sticking point between "mainlander gnomes" and their Imperial counterparts. Non-gnomes are forbidden to make their way beyond the walls of Azure City on penalty of death, leaving many foreigners to wonder what hidden secrets and treasures of the land lie just beyond the capital's tall spires. Gnomes are responsible for many of the technologies and inventions that power most of the world's modern cities, and their race's natural ambitiousness often has them butting heads with the equally driven Man and industrious dwarves.
Gnomes have some key physiological differences compared to the races of alfus: besides their rather small size averaging out at around 4 feet, they do not have the same set of incredibly complex organs as do the other races, such as the liver or pancreas (with their stomach taking over the duties usually done by organs they lack), and rather than having a set of lungs or kidneys, they possess but one of each. Gnomes also do not possess a fully functioning cardiovascular and immune system, leaving the majority of them prone to fatigue and susceptible to diseases, however due to their drastically different physiology, they seem to be immune to the vast majority of Kin diseases, and often find a niche in the medical fields.
Examples of Common Male Names: Dutong, Gao, Jiang, Lishun, Wei, Zhong
Examples of Common Female Names: An, Gufu, Lin, Miao, Rento, Sun Bei
Examples Common Surnames: Cheung, Guo, Kuang, Sung, Xun, Zhao
ADDITIONAL LORE AND INFORMATION
(all information below is taken from the General Lore questions thread on the forums.)
Humans, Elves, and Dwarves (Kin) all share a common ancestor because their anatomies and biologies are extremely similar. gnomes - on the other hand - are weird.
Gnomes have reverse transcriptases instead of DNA, and RNA proteins to map out chromosomes and the genome. They don't know this though, because they have not yet invented the Electron Microscope.
Gnomes have a brain, and intestines, and one large lung. They still have muscles, nerves, and a heart, and they are connected the same way; however, they have no liver at all, nor do they have a spleen or pancreas. Instead, they possess a really large stomach that has multiple sections to it that basically fulfill all the rolls of their missing organs. Their stomachs also secrete a mix of hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid, and HCl instead of just hydrochloric acid, which is part of why they can eat all sorts of weird shit and still break it down just fine. Their Liver is essentially built into their stomachs, hence if they eat something like a poisonous mushroom, they'd detox it while digesting it and never even really notice the poisons. Their stomachs are ridiculously complex... for them Gastrology is literally an entire field of medicine.
The other major difference is their lymphatic and circulatory systems. While they do have "blood", it's only called that because the Kin have a similar substance in their blood vessels. Tt used to be called "red bile" previously, but there's also yellow, green, and black bile. Green is the returning red stuff, so gnomes have green blood in their veins. Yellow is basically the combination of all the digestive fluids they have in their stomach... it's a combo of mucous and all sorts of digestive enzymes, so when they blow their nose, yellow comes out, and for example if they wiped their snot on a sandwich it would start to decompose and break down over time. Black bile is usually mixed into their poop to give it the really dark color. You only really see it if a gnome is sick and starts puking up stuff gnome puke is usually black. Lastly, Gnomes have orange urine. Orange is actually healthy for them, if it's yellow that means they're sick... it's the reverse of kin.
Gnomes are odd in the sense that they can eat basically anything, and in inordinately large quantities, if needed. Gnomes generally only actually eat 1 or 2 meals a day, since the food chills in their giant stomachs for extended period of time, and they can actually go for several days without eating and it's not much of a problem.
They prefer blander foods without much spice since they have a much keener sense of smell than the other races, although for some reason they absolutely love garlic and onions. Most gnomes eat a diet that's very heavy in meat and raw vegetables - eating things raw is actually pretty common among gnomes, even with garlic and onions, and it's not an uncommon sight to see a gnome take a full bird egg, shell and all, and just swallow it whole. In fact, on long journeys, it's a gnomish tradition to swallow three chicken eggs to last you the first several days.The entire species just doesn't have much of a culinary tradition, though some scholars wonder if that just has more to do with the thousands of years during which they lived in captivity as slaves, for the most part.
One major limitation of the bizarre gnomish diet is that they really dislike carbonated beverages like beers and ales, and in fact alcohol doesn't have much of an effect on them other than making them feel achy and ill. Conversely, caffeine in what the other races would consider normal quantities actually can have a hallucinogenic effect on most gnomes, and "coffee parties" are a pretty common weekend occurrence in gnome circles. Similarly, wadding up tea leaves and jamming them up against the gums is a common practice among Gnomes as well, for similar reasons. Overall their diet is pretty high in salt and they have a much lower water intake than the other races. They also usually only poop like once a week, but it's quite a production.
Consequently, Gnomish restaurants have yet to take off in Calidor. Wonder why.
Gnomes are far behind Calidor in terms of Kin medicine and chemistry, though they are much more advanced when it comes to Gnome medicine and chemistry involving acid, mainly because their own physiology is so different from the other races and they just operate differently. They also have a very different understanding of the social sciences, favoring rigid hierarchy and civil structure over democracy and liberalism.
One field in which they vastly surpass everyone else is in building steam ships because the main force of technology in the mainland is the Dwarves, and most Dwarves aren't that into sailing, though Dwarven mining machines are far better than anything outsiders would have seen with the gnomes. Gnomes excel in building small mechanisms.
Gnomes in general are very secretive of what tech they have, and will not disclose the full breadth of their technology with the other races, some say out of a paranoia after being slaves for so long and seeing what they did to the Orcs.
A common rumor is that either dwarves or gnomes have working steam cannon prototypes (practical, that is - the concept of propelling a projectile with a blast of steam is of course known and even applied in smaller scale such as with some weapon mods, such cannons supposedly have much higher range and accuracy), but if they do, they're keeping it a closely guarded secret.