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Rock gnomes are a capricious, childlike race very much unlike their cousins, the deep gnomes and the forest gnomes. When most people think of gnomes, they are thinking of the rock gnome. Rock gnomes embody the characteristics of their creator and patron deity, Garl Glittergold, choosing to spend their long lives by filling each day with as much fun and enjoyment as possible.
Rock gnomes are typically between 3 to 3½ feet tall and weigh anywhere from 40 to 45 lbs. They possess a natural brownish tint to their skin; the presence or absence of light has little effect upon it. Young rock gnomes possess any of a large number of hair colors that fades to gray or white upon reaching adulthood. Male gnomes typically keep beards groomed in a neat manner.
Rock gnomes possess many of the traits other races, particularly humans, attribute to children. Most rock gnomes enjoy life to their very fullest; asking questions endlessly, playing pranks on friends and strangers, and finding new and interesting hobbies are just a few of the countless chores that rock gnomes burden each day with. Much like a child, a rock gnome possesses very little tolerance for long term mental focus unless the task at hand is of notable interest.
While their joyful, child-like viewpoint of life gives the impression that a rock gnome would be incapable of achieving something as mundane as physical labor, rock gnomes manage to use their keen intelligences to turn something as generally unexciting as work into a fun and enjoyable expenditure of their time and energy.
Rock gnomes gather in small towns, rarely reaching 500 adults. They consider large cities to be uncomfortable, partially because of the great amount of demand the Big Folk have for their skills. Rock gnomes are comfortable deep underground almost as much as on the surface world, possessing skill in ore and gemcutting that surpasses that of the dwarves, along with notable skills in toymaking and clockwork engineering. Rock gnomes are also the finest producers of the new weapons known as "guns."
Rock gnome homes are burrows, small but clean cave-like carvings into stone and hillsides. Married gnome couples have rooms for each to use, though rock gnome children generally sleep together in a single room. Rock gnome burrows are constructed by clan, allowing underground tunnels to conjoin one another for defense and other purposes.
Although rock gnomes can theoretically be of any alignment, the majority of rock gnomes, as a culture, lean towards neutral good. Rock gnomes will aid someone in need and oppose all who would impose their will upon those weaker than them.
Rock gnomes typically possess a nonchalant reverence of their chosen deity, bringing up the name of their god in any form of conversation as if they were refering to a friend. Rock gnomes rarely go to church and possess no particularly great amount of zeal towards the worship of their pantheon of gods. In typical gnomish manner, the gnomish gods require no particularly impressive display of faith, being more interested in following their own admittedly mundane agendas.
Most rock gnomes worship the head of the gnomish pantheon, Garl Glittergold, considering him to be the idealized gnome, personifying mischief and merry-making.
Rock gnomes are especially easy going with dwarves and halflings, especially those who appreciate a good joke. They are typically more cautious and subdued around the Big Folk (humans, elves and the other medium size humanoids), taking a considerably longer time (a day longer, perhaps) to consider them a friend and ally. They consider all forms of goblinkin to be extremely untrustworthy and give them a very wide berth if possible.
Rock gnomes roam the lands of Faerûn far and wide, using their impressive natural intelligence as inventors, mages, and other positions which require mechanical aptitude or just sheer knowledge of their surroundings. Rock gnomes who choose to study the paths of arcane magic typically choose the school of illusion, which they often use to enhance storytelling or defending their small villages from goblinoid attack. Rock gnomes are also found commonly in the Western Heartlands, the Dalelands, and the woodlands between the Great Dale and Thesk.