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Svirfneblin, the Tiny Tinkerers of Terror

Svirfneblin, also known more commonly as Deep Gnomes, are a distant subrace of Gnomes that dwell in the Underdark.

About[edit | edit source]

Deep Gnomes are similar to build to surface gnomes, ranging in height anywhere from 2 to 3 feet. Unlike their surface brethren, deep gnomes are born with several inherit abilities, including the uncanny magical power to blur themselves, causing other creatures to become confused about the gnome's appearance and actions.

Deep gnomes are also born with a thick and dark grey skin, which wrinkles heavily as they age, causing older Svirfneblin to be so full of crevices and folds that they can seamlessly blend in with similarly colored terrain in the underdark.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Personality wise, Deep Gnomes are a dedicated race of miners and breeders. If you're not one, you're the other. Svirfneblin are often referred to as "sour company" due to their stoic work-addiction and their inability to trust outsiders. Though they are serious about their jobs, they do find joys and curiosity when it comes to gems..

Deep Gnomes subsist on a diet entirely made up of mushrooms and fungi, sometimes found in the wild, and sometimes farmed in their colonies. Their food is preserved in a salt so dense that non-Svirfneblin will often wretch and puke when trying to eat Deep Gnomish food.

Svirfneblin have friendly relations with Xorn, sometimes even keeping them as pets or partners.

Society[edit | edit source]

Deep Gnomes have "cities" that are composed of massive underground chambers dug deep under the Underdark's surface, in a sort of 'under-underdark'. Each chamber of the caverns has a specific purpose like the various buildings in a city. The can include workshops, libraries, bathhouses, forges, and anything else imaginable.

Deep Gnome homes are often carved out of massive stalagmites, or if there are none, just carved into the walls of the various caverns.

Female Svirfneblin run the home life, and are dedicated to creating and raising children, including other Gnome's children (it takes a village). But that doesn't mean there aren't some that go against the grain and become master craftsmen or miners.

Deep Gnome cities will almost always follow a King or Queen, or both.

Tools[edit | edit source]

Crafty creatures, Svirfneblin are noted for their elemental affinities and artificing powers. Deep Gnome colonies are no stranger to inventions such as low-altitude airships (called skiffs) and elemental powered firearms.

Gnomish airships were more comprable to sleds, and several varients of them were used to navigate the underdark quickly. The Combat Sled was the most common, used for hunting and defense. It held two small ballista on front, and could ram targets as a last resort. Svirfneblin also had access to Light Barges which were unarmed but could carry goods between mines and cities. Finally, the Cave Sled, manned only by one gnomish scout, was primarily used as a recon and escort vehicle.

Deep Gnome Firearms came in several elemental types. There is the Drache-eis, or Ice Dragon, which fires shards of ice. There's also the Drache-feuer which fires superheated metal fragments.

The Festival of the Star[edit | edit source]

The Festival of the Star takes place every year in the underdark as a remembrance ceremony to mark the falling of the deep gnomes from the surface, and to remind them that they are connected with their surface brothers through the boundary. During the festival, the ceiling of the Underdark, or the ceiling of Svirfneblin caverns, is coated with a special fungus that illuminates itself, creating the semblance of a night sky illuminated with stars.

It has been noted during the ceremony that the Deep Gnomes chant "The Festival of the Star" in unison over and over, much to the annoyance of others.

Notable Svirfneblin[edit | edit source]

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