There is much about Gnomish history that is unknown, however it has been discovered that Gnomes were once a creation of the Titans called Mechagnomes. These small, clockwork creatures were likely used by the Titans to aid in shaping the world of Azeroth alongside the Earthen and the Sea Giants.
Eventually the Curse of Flesh affected Gnomes, in much the same way it did other Titan creations. While Mechagnomes seem to have been immortal, the Curse also made gnomes mortal -- although they do possess remarkably long lifespans.
Contact with Other RacesEdit
It is believed that a gnome was present in the Tirisfalen roughly 2,600 years before the Dark Portal first opened. Another Gnome, Erbag, was a later member of the Tirisfalen -- he is the first detailed historical account of a Gnome. Most scholars agree that the first real contact with Gnomes began when Dwarves discovered them roughly 200 years prior to the reopening of the Dark Portal.
Legend holds that a Dwarven explorer came upon a small Gnomish village that was fully automated and included mechanical chickens. The Dwarf was shocked, given that his race had only recently discovered gun powder. A fast friendship between Gnomes and Dwarves soon developed, and the Dwarves allowed their newfound allies to construct the techno-city of Gnomeregan in Dun Murogh.
The Great WarsEdit
At the end of the First War, the human kingdoms forged a Grand Alliance to drive the Orcs back to Draenor. The Dwarves and Gnomes had seen the ferocity of the Orcs in the Orcish attack on Ironforge, and so they joined the Alliance as well. The Gnomes opted to be represented by the representative from Ironforge.
Gnomish inventions greatly aided the Alliance in the Second War, and many argue that victory would have been impossible without them. The Goblins, who supported the Orcs, rivaled the Gnomes technologically, however, and this rivalry has existed ever since.
The Alliance was understandably shocked when the Gnomes did not offer any aid during the Burning Legion's invasion in the Third War. Previous Gnomish inventions, piloted by Dwarves and Humans, were implemented in their stead.
After the war, it was discovered that the reason for the Gnomes' withdrawal was an invasion of Troggs into their city of Gnomeregan. The Gnomes felt that they could handle the problem on their own and that they should not distract their allies from the demonic invasion. This proved to be false.
The Aftermath of GnomereganEdit
After fleeing Gnomeregan, the surviving Gnomeregan Exiles were welcomed into Tinker Town in Ironforge. Now lending their support to the Alliance once again, Gnomish outposts have cropped up across the world of Azeroth and even Draenor. They were even among those leading the charge for the Valiance Expedition in Northrend.
After the defeat of the Lich King, High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque turned his attention back to Gnomeregan. He initiated Operation: Gnomeregan to retake their city. Though they did not successfully take back the entirety of Gnomeregan, the Gnomes did manage to retake the upper levels and save several irradiated gnomes. They now continue the push to reclaim the rest of their city.
Since the Cataclysm, Gnomes have also come to the aid of the Night Elves in defense of Ashenvale and the Stonetalon Mountains. Although the Night Elves are suspicious of the Gnomish use of the arcane, and find their technological advances somewhat unnatural, they have found this aid to be invaluable.
Gnomish culture seems to be about striving to reach new levels of knowledge, technology and even arcane power. Although some gnomes worship the Holy Light, and moreso since Deathwing ravaged the world, most Gnomes place faith only in themselves and their friends.
Gnomes speak their own language of Gnomish, but many also speak Common and Dwarven. Many others also know how to speak the Goblin Language of their technological rivals. Nearly all Gnomes can also write in the language called Gnomish Binary.
Gnomes have family surnames which are indicative of an achievement made by an ancestor of theirs, however Gnomes are expected to have made their own achievements by the age of roughly 30 years old. At this point, Gnomes typically will choose a name which reflects their greatest achievement.
Though Gnomes are primarily all of one race, there are a few variations that have been discovered. These include....
- Leper Gnomes -- gnomes which have been corrupted by radiation. Most of them have completely lost their minds.
- Sand Gnomes -- a mysterious race of gnomes living beneath the sand of Draenor.
- Mechagnomes -- robotic gnomes unaffected by the Curse of Flesh.
Adventurous Gnomes have always been known to become...
- Potion Docs
- Sisters of Steel
- Steam Warriors
- Techno Mages
The Lich King was able to create several Gnomish Death Knights. After the Shattering rocked the world of Azeroth, many Gnomes turned to worship of the Holy Light and many have turned to becoming Priests as a result.
Gnomes are a playable race in World of Warcraft.