Gnomes are among the most inquisitive of races. They seek knowledge in all its forms and tend to careers which allow them to fulfill this thirst: bards, historians, alchemists, and librarians, as well as spies. The gnomes rule the nation of Zilargo, one of the oldest nations of Khorvaire.[1][2]


Migration from ThelanisEdit

Gnomes originated on the plane of Thelanis, with the other races of the fey. On Thelanis, the gnomes joined the eladrin of the Summer Court. These gnomes inhabited the various eladrin feyspires.

At some point in the past, during one of the frequent coterminous periods between Thelanis and Eberron, a large amount of gnomes migrated to Khorvaire. While some of these gnomes spread across the continent, most of these gnomes settled in an area on the southern portion of Khorvaire. The gnomes settled between the Howling Peaks and the Seawall Mountains, congregating mainly along the coast of the Thunder Sea. These gnomes were much more primitive than the gnomes of today.

Though the land was inhabited by tribes of kobolds, including the Haka’jhar tribe, the gnomes managed to push the kobolds back to the two mountain ranges to the north of their territory. The gnomes also clashed with the Dhakaani Empire, using guerilla tactics to help prevent the goblins from entering their lands. The Dhakaani Empire's Ghuurash Codex provides details about "jungle rats" that infested the coast between the Howling Peaks and the Seawall Mountains. The gnomes failed to stop the goblin empire, though, and were either enslaved or forced deeper into the wilds. But conquest was far easier than occupation, as the gnomes used guile to trick the goblins into fighting each other. Eventually, though, the Dhakaani Empire fell to an incursion from Xoriat, allowing the gnomes time to grow. These more primitive gnomes took over the abandoned cities of the Dhakaani and the daelkyr, devouring their knowledge and adding it to their own.[3][4][5][6]

Era of ExpansionEdit

As gnome society grew, families aligned themselves into different clans. Clan names include the Adredar, Clebdecher, Dalian, Davandi, Harlian, Korran, Lonadar, Nezzelech, Santiar, Sivis, and Tarliach clans. These clans slowly joined together to form three city-states: Trolanport, Korranberg, and Zolanberg. Though the gnomes still faced threats of kobold tribes and the remnants of the goblin empire, they were able to raise these great city-states.[2][5]

The gnome clans spread out, becoming one of the first seafaring races of Khorvaire. The gnomes came into contact with all the other races of Khorvaire. When the humans first came to Khorvaire from Sarlona three thousand years ago, the gnomes extended their hands in friendship. The gnomes, experts in both bureaucracy and linguistics, helped the humans adapt to their new continent. In fact, the gnomes claim that it was they that helped spread the humans' language of Old Common amongst the other races, transforming it into the Common language of Khorvaire.[2][4][7]

The gnomes, with their endless desire for knowledge, became information traders with the humans across Khorvaire. Loremaster Dorius Alyre ir'Korran dedicated his life to the gathering of knowledge from the Dhakaani and Daelkyr Empires. With knowledge donated by the three great city-states, Korran created the great Library of Korranberg.[5]

The Rise of House Sivis and ZilargoEdit

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The Lesser Mark of Scribing

2,800 years ago, the gnomes of the Sivis clan became the third race to manifest a dragonmark. These gnomes manifested the Mark of Scribing. Fearing an outcast status with the other clans, the gnomes of the Sivis clan quickly used their aptitude in the arcane arts to master their dragonmarks. Soon, Sivis began to tap into their marks' abilities, using their spell-like powers to aide the other clans. Unbeknownst to the gnomes at the time, the Sivis clan would set the mold of what would eventually become a dragonmarked house: consolidation of all dragonmarked family lines within one larger clan, who would use their marks for profit and create a large commercial mercantile force. The Sivis clan used their diplomatic nature to reach out to the other marked races, and they began the creation of the true Dragonmarked Houses.[4][8]

However, gnome relations with the humans were not always peaceful. About 2,400 years ago, a human warlord named Malleon the Reaver plied the eastern and southern coasts of Khorvaire, from the Lhazaar Sea towards the southwest coast. Malleon plundered a large number of settlements along the southern coast of Khorvaire, including the remaining kobold and goblin settlements. And towards the north, a human named Karrn the Conqueror was also setting his sights on subjugating the disparate human territories. In the wake of such threats, the three gnome city-states formed a closer alliance. Trolanport, Korranberg, and Zolanberg joined forces to provide a united front against the forces of Malleon and Karrn. From the three city-states, they created a single nation, which they named Zilargo, or The Home of the Wise in the gnomish language.[5][9]

The three city-states formed a unified government, called the Triumvirate. While each city-state was still ruled by one of their Council of Nine, one representative from each council was chosen to form a new ruling body to oversee the united nation. This new nation of Zilargo faced the threat of Malleon's sea marauders. Luckily, Malleon set his sight on a bigger target: the last remaining goblin city of Duur'shaarat. With his eye on a bigger prize, Malleon's attacks on the gnome settlements were ancillary, and easily defendable by the unified gnome nation.[5][10]

At some unknown point after the formation of Zilargo, the Triumvirate sought to find a way to keep their nation unified. In order to police a populace that prizes secrets and knowledge above all, a mysterious gnome known only as "the Proctor" created the Trust, a secret police force within the gnomish nation. Anyone could be recruited within this police force, and even a gnome's lifelong friend may, in fact, be an agent of this order. The gnomes used this secret police to keep the population in-line, and the Trust still operates this way to this day.[1][5][10][11]

Not only did the gnomes continue to migrate across Khorvaire, they also began exploring the seas. 1,600 years ago, a group of gnome explorers attempted to settle on the southern continent of Xen'drik, on the site of modern-day Stormreach. However, the settlement was short-lived and returned to Zilargo after being repulsed by the giant tribes. One gnome, however, believes the giant attack to be a cover story, citing a settler's reference to a "darkness that gripped both body and soul." [12]

1,500 years ago, the gnomes of House Sivis joined the other Dragonmarked Houses in the War of the Mark. The Dragonmarked Houses banded together in an effort to remove the "unpure" traces of Aberrant Dragonmarks. The War of the Mark ended with the siege of Sharn. There, the leaders of the newly formed Aberrant Dragonmarked House, House Tarkanan fought against the various Dragonmarked Houses, but succumbed to the houses' superior power.[1][8]


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The gnomes of Khorvaire

One thousand years ago, the human Galifar ir'Wynarn united the five human nations of Khorvaire into one nation: Galifar. Once the different human nations had been unified, Galifar turned his sights on Zilargo. The gnomes of a unified Zilargo met his forces in the valley north of Dragonroost and immediately surrendered. True to their ways, the gnomes negotiated to remain a sovereign principality of the nation of Galifar, and swore allegiance to the king.[1][10]

Back on Thelanis, the gnomes there grew in power as well. They became the controlling power of one of their own feyspires: Pyras Pyrial, the Gate of Joy. Pyras Pyrial was situated on Thelanis in a location that allowed it to manifest in Zilargo when Thelanis became coterminous with Eberron.[4]

In the year 498 YK, gnome explorers in the Shadow Marches came across clans of orcs that possessed a dragonmark. These orcs possessed the Mark of Finding. House Sivis brought the leaders of these tribes to the other Dragonmarked Houses, and House Tharashk was soon born.[1]


A marked House Sivis member at a speaking station

In 783 YK, House Sivis made the breakthrough of the sending stone, a magical item that allows someone with the Mark of Scribing to send messages to other House Sivis members telepathically. These stones, created by Tasker Torralyn d'Sivis and improved upon by the Twelve, changed the face of Khorvaire, allowing the nations to communicate instantaneously. By 789 YK, House Sivis began setting up sending stone stations all across Khorvaire and beyond.[1]

In 793 YK, a gnome named Byrnid Dojurn convinced the Doyenne of House Sivis to fund a trip to Xen'drik to unlock the long-lost giant ability to bond elementals to items. Byrnid Dojurn's expedition was successful, and he returned with the information on how to master this lost art. Within the next decade, the arcane artisans of Zilargo began creating elemental vessels, such as airships and the lightning rail.[13]

In the year 894 YK, the human nation of Galifar splintered, marking the beginning of the Last War. Five nations emerged from the splintering: Aundair, Breland, Cyre, Karrnath, and Thrane. Zilargo suddenly found themselves between the new Brelish nation and the new Cyran nation. However, ever the diplomats, the gnomes took a neutral stance. They continued to supply knowledge and learning to all of the nations, citing "We are a principality of the crown of Galifar, and we are the loyal servants of the kings and queens of Galifar." However, in the year 962 YK, almost seventy years later, Zilargo changed their stance. Zilargo officially declared their allegiance to Breland, essentially declaring themselves as an independent nation and throwing support to Breland in one fell swoop. Zilargo began exclusively supplying its troops and, more importantly, its elemental vessels, to the cause of Breland.[10]

The gnomes continued to support Breland until the end of the Last War, where the nation of Zilargo joined the other nations in the Treaty of Thronehold. Since then, the gnome race continues to be a major power on Khorvaire, with both the nation of Zilargo and the Dragonmarked House of Sivis.[1]


While most gnomes are truebloods that have originated from Thelanis, there are subspecies of gnomes that have been discovered. These gnomes are generally not considered of the same blood as gnomes, and none of the subspecies have shown the manifestation of the Mark of Scribing. However, some of these subspecies have been shown to have developed aberrant dragonmarks.[9]

Chaos Gnomes Edit

A subspecies of gnomes, called Chaos Gnomes, exist in Zilargo. These gnomes, called Imago in the gnome language are not welcomed in most well-ordered Zilargo cities, but rather form separate settlements around the nation. Unlike other gnomes, chaos gnomes cannot keep a secret, which brings them ire from other gnomes. The gnomes of the Trust tend to keep an eye on their chaos gnome cousins.

Chaos Gnomes embrace the nature of chaos and tend towards the life of sorcerers. They enjoy a more nomadic life and seem to have the supernatural ability to manipulate luck in their favor. They tend towards having a great sense of humor, though they are seldom pranksters.[9][14]

Deep Gnomes Edit

During the Daelkyr War, tribes of gnomes were subjugated and enslaved by the daelkyr. These gnomes now call themselves Deep Gnomes, or Svirfneblin in the gnome language, and still reside deep within Khyber. These gnomes seek to amend themselves for the heinous crimes of their ancestors. They continue to live deep beneath Zilargo, and remain hidden from sight. They believe themselves "unclean" and undeserving to live with their surface brethren. Occasionally, a deep gnome will travel to the surface and seek out life as an adventurer in a way to atone for the past sins of his or her people.

Unlike their surface brethren, Deep Gnomes possess darkvision, and an innate ability to resist spells. They have a supernatural ability to avoid detection.[9][15]

Ice GnomesEdit

Rumors abound of tribes of Ice Gnomes that roam the frozen continent of the Frostfell, to the north of Khorvaire. However, these gnomes appear to be indistinguishable from their Khorvairian cousins.[16]

Whisper Gnomes Edit

Unlike the other subspecies of gnomes, Whisper Gnomes do not live in segregated communities. The Whisper Gnomes live among other gnomes and are welcomed into their society. The origin of the whisper gnomes is unknown, although some believe that they are the creations of the Trust, designed to use their natural abilities to spy on behalf of the Trust; however, that belief remains unsubstantiated.

Whisper gnomes are naturally much quieter than their brethren; they possess the supernatural ability to project silence around their bodies. Unlike other gnomes, whisper gnomes possess both low-light vision and darkvision, and make excellent rogues and rangers. They can travel faster than most gnomes. They prefer more solitary lifestyles and are less social than the common gnome. [9][14]


House SivisEdit

The most noted gnomes of Eberron are the gnomes of House Sivis. As with other Dragonmarked Houses, House Sivis is made up of a number of bloodlines that have continually manifested the Mark of Scribing over the years. There are twelve families in House Sivis, including Corralyn, Haskal, Lyrriman, Magan, Santor, Severin, Syrralan, Tarlian, and Torralyn. House Sivis is responsible for the Notaries Guild and the Speakers Guild, which operate across Khorvaire. Though Sivis enclaves can be found on almost every nation on Khorvaire, House Sivis makes their home in Korranberg.[2][8][17]

Other Gnome ClansEdit

In addition to House Sivis, once clan Sivis, there are other clans within the gnomes of Eberron. Other clan names include Adredar, Clebdecher, Dalian, Davandi, Harlian, Korran, Lonadar, Nezzelech, Santiar, and Tarliach. These clans comprise even more families, with family names including Alyre, Canatar, Del, Dorian, Kan, Lin, and Sil.[2]


The gnomes hold no one religion over another. Most cities in Zilargo hold a wide variety of temples. Gnomes support the worship of the Sovereign Host, the Dark Six, the Church of the Silver Flame, and even Cults of the Dragon Below.[2][4]



The gnomes originated on the plane of Thelanis, and a large number of them still reside there. These gnomes are wilder than their Khorvairian counterparts.

Thelanis gnomes on Eberron mostly reside in Pylas Pyrial, a glittering tower of alabaster and gold. Over the centuries, the Zil have maintained a relationship with Pylas Pyrial when it has appeared. Pylas Pyrial is ruled by the Summer Council, which includes gnomes and eladrin. While the Triumvirate has no formal power within the Gate of Joy, the Trust has infiltrated the feyspire and have agents amongst its ruling council.[4]


On the plane of Eberron, Zilargo is the gnomish homeland. Lying southeast of Breland in southern Khorvaire. It is situated between Breland on the north and west and the goblinoid nation of Darguun on the east. Zilargo has been effectively independent since 962, and their independence was ratified by the Treaty of Thronehold in 996 YK. Zilargo is the major shipbuilding center in Khorvaire and also produces fine gems from its mines in the Howling Peaks and the Seawall Mountains.[1]

Notable NamesEdit

Appearance & PersonalityEdit

Gnomes are one of the smallest humanoid races, even smaller than the halflings. They resemble their eladrin cousins, with pointed ears, chiseled facial features, high cheekbones, and sharp jaws. Gnomes from Thelanis have a more wild look to them, while gnomes from Khorvaire wear the garb as many other races do.

Gnome skin tones range from tan to brown to gray. Their hair can ve almost any color, including white, blonde, brown, orange, or even green. Their eyes are glittering black orbs.

Like eladrin, gnomes are extremely long-lived, living 300 year lifespans. Unlike eladrin, however, gnomes start showing their age at 100 years old, with their hair going white and their skin show wrinkles and weather lines.[32]

Gnomes have an innate thirst for knowledge, and always ask questions of those around them. Gnomes have made up for their small stature by sharpening their knowledge as a weapon. They often use diplomacy as a tool, but are not above using blackmail or espionage as a tool either. They frequently keep knowledge to themselves, and hide both their truths and their emotions from others. Most gnomes wear a false smile, all the while absorbing information from those around them. even good gnomes tend to use manipulation of knowledge, and often justify it by using their skills for good rather than for evil.

Family and clan bonds are immensely important to gnomes, and are the only others that a gnome will trust. A gnome's family will help them out without question, but the expectation of the opposite is held. Clan bonds are not as strong as family bonds, but some clans, like House Sivis, retain a high level of trust amongst clansmen.[2]


Innate AbilitiesEdit

Gnomes are fey in nature and retain some of the traits carried over from Thelanis. Gnomes have low-light vision, and can see in the thinnest of light. Many gnomes possess spell-like abilities, such as speaking with animals, conjuring ghost sounds or dancing lights, using prestidigitation, or turning themselves invisible.[33][32]

Elemental BondingEdit

In the year 793 YK, a gnome named Byrnid Dojurn uncovered a long-forgotten text from Xen'drik in the Library of Korranberg. This text outlined the capability of binding elementals to items. Seeing the benefits to this capability, Dojurn petitioned the Doyenne of House Sivis at the time, Aliwas Lyrriman d'Sivis, for an expedition to Xen'drik. The expedition turned into an assault force, and gnome forces gathered as much information as they could from a drow clan residing in giant ruins. Led by Merranzabad, the drow showed the gnomes into the giant ruins, unaware that the gnomes sought to steal the information. The gnomes were successful in taking that knowledge, though Dojurn died of drow-inflicted wounds shortly after returning to Zilargo.

By 805 YK, the gnomes of Zilargo unlocked the secrets to binding elementals to inanimate objects. Since then, the gnomes have thoroughly mastered the art of elemental binding, which is used in a multitude of what are now considered essential technologies in contemporary post-War Khorvaire, including airships and the lightning rail. As a result gnome alchemists, wizards and artificers are in high demand, especially by House Cannith, House Lyrandar, and House Orien.[13][19]


External LinksEdit


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Eberron Campaign Setting. Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek, & James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3274-0.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Races of Eberron. Jesse Decker, Matthew Sernett, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, & Keith Baker (2005). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3658-4.
  3. Eberron Player's Guide. David Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5100-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Eberron Campaign Guide. James Wyatt and Keith Baker (2009). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5099-4.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Dragonshards: The Gnomes of Zilargo, Part 1. Keith Baker (November 29, 2004). Wizards of the Coast.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Doom of Kings. Don Bassingthwaite (2008). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-4918-X.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Secrets of Xen'drik. Keith Baker, Jason Bulmahn, & Amber Scott (2006). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3916-8.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Dragonmarked. Keith Baker, Ari Marmell, Michelle Lyons and C.A. Suleiman (2006). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3933-8.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 Player's Guide to Eberron. James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Luke Johnson, Steven Brown (2006). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Five Nations. Bill Slavicsek, David Noonan, and Christopher Perkins (2005). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3690-8.
  11. "Eye on Eberron: The Trust" (December 2011) by Keith BakerDragon Magazine issue 406. 
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 City of Stormreach. Keith Baker, Nicolas Logue, James "Grim" Desborough, C.A. Suleiman (2008). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-4803-5.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 Magic of Eberron. Bruce R. Cordell, Stephen Schubert, and Chris Thomasson (2005). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3696-7.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Races of Stone. Jesse Decker, Michelle Lyons, David Noonan (2004). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3278-3.
  15. Monster Manual. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook (July 2003). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  16. Frostburn. Wolfgang Baur, James Jacobs, and George Strayton (2004). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-2896-4.
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 17.18 Sharn: City of Towers. Keith Baker & James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3434-4.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Dragons of Eberron. Keith Baker, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Nicolas Logue, & Amber Scott (2007). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-4154-5.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Explorer's Handbook. David Noonan, Rich Burlew, & Frank Brunner (2005). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3691-6.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Dreadhold: Eberron's Inescapable Island Prison" (June 2006) by Keith Baker and Jason BulmahnDragon Magazine issue 344. 
  21. "The Aundairian Job" (June 2007) by Craig ShackletonDungeon Magazine issue 147. 
  22. Secrets of Sarlona. Keith Baker, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Glenn McDonald, and Chris Sims (2007). Wizards of the CoastISBN 978-0-7869-4037-0.
  23. Word of Traitors. Don Bassingthwaite (2009). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5196-6.
  24. The Tyranny of Ghosts. Don Bassingthwaite (2010). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5506-6.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 The Forge of War. James Wyatt, Wolfgang Baur, Ari Marmell (2007). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-4153-7.
  26. The City of Towers. Keith Baker (2005). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3584-7.
  27. Grasp of the Emerald Claw. Bruce R. Cordell (2005). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3907-9.
  28. "Crypt of Crimson Stars" (June 2005) by James Wyatt and Andy CollinsDungeon Magazine issue 123. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 Voyage of the Golden Dragon. Nicolas Logue (2006). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3907-9.
  30. "Explore Taer Lian Doresh: The Fortress of Broken Dreams" (May 2010) by Jeff LaSalaDungeon Magazine issue 178. 
  31. "Explore Taer Lian Doresh: Villains and Vendettas" (November 2010) by Jeff LaSalaDungeon Magazine issue 184. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 Player's Handbook 2. Rob Heinsoo, Mike Mearls, and Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5016-1.
  33. Player's Handbook.  (2003). Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-2886-7.


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