J. Zachary Pike's

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Arth Lore

Gnow Your Gnomes: Tinderkin

A Tinderkin

It’s hard to define the Gnomes of Arth; they’re said to take as many shapes and sizes as the clouds in the sky.  Gnomish legends say that they once shared a common ancestor, but the great Clans have all become their own sub-races.  Be that as it may, it’s proper to refer to any of them, from a Halfling to a Tinderkin to a Deep Gnome, as a Gnome.

The Gnomes of Clan Kaedrin, more commonly known as Tinderkin, legendarily avoided an ancient war against the forces of Mannon.  Their reluctance earned them a reputation as cowards and shiftless thieves, and though the characterization was somewhat unwarranted at the time in the ages since many of them have grown into the stereotype quite nicely.

Tinderkin are the tallest of the Gnomes, standing about a head shorter than a human.  While they may be roughly the height of Dwarves, their slim figures with sharp features are more reminiscent of Elves.  Their skin is usually olive, and their hair is either black or brown (though red or silver-haired individuals are not unheard of). Their relatively large stature makes them among the strongest Gnomes in combat, and they often work as professional heroes, mercenaries, soldiers, etc.

Clan Kaedrin traditionally lived as nomads, traveling in small, familial bands.  The informal name “Tinderkin” comes from the massive fires they build for nightly gatherings, which often serve as venues for elaborate performances. Many Tinderkin still wander the world in brightly colored Vardas, tinkering by day and busking by night. Human Gypsies are sometimes called Tinderchildren, as their behavior suggests Tinderkin heritage.

In the great migrations of the sixth and seventh ages, many Tinderkin have left their Vardas to take up life in the city. Even these urban Tinderkin favor professions that require outdoor work—their wanderlust and boisterous culture aren’t well suited to desk jobs, and their fiery independence isn’t well suited to corporate life. Those Tinderkin that can overcome these challenges, however, are formidable players in Arth’s business world, dominating their competition through shrewd deals, quick wits, and ruthless efficiency.

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