One thing I’ve been doing this week on and off in spare moments is writing up my quick pen pictures of the non-human player races for Erun. Halflings used to take a bashing in the letters page of White Dwarf every month, and were widely considered the comedy D&D race. In the gritty Kingdom of Erun, they don’t get an easy time of it.
Woe to the little people, for when the Demon War engulfed Erun in flames it was their homely hamlets that burnt first. Those not killed in the holocaust found themselves refugees in human cities and towns that were already flooded with humans fleeing the burning countryside. No place for the little people, with their strange customs of pipe smoking, silly dancing and gluttonous appetites. Whole clans went wild, hiding out in the wilderness away from warlords and monsters alike. But it is whispered amongst the campfires of the refuges that bold heroes will arise, to take them back to their comfort of Home!
The other races get a similiar make over. High Elves are better known as ‘War Elves’ since they actively attack the ‘enemies’ of their forests. Mountain Dwarfs are failed Imperialists dreaming of their old mountain empire. Half-orcs rather than being the product of Orc/Human interbreeding are the manufactured slave race of the Demon Underlords, freed once their masters where cast back into Hell, left to fend for themselves in the world and to find a sense of identity.
Here’s the pen picture for Gnomes which is a tribute to every player that I have met, who usually play them as an Illusionist/Thief of Chaotic Neutral alignment.
“Its all an illusion” a Gnome will tell you with a sly grin.
Crafty, tricky and mistrusted by other races, even their ‘cousins’ the dwarfs, they are regularly chased out of town. Or they have become so indispensable to the town, usually in a monetary sense because Gnomes are renowned money lenders, they couldn’t be shifted even if the local community tried.
Gnomes live in small clans often hidden away from the world and protected by strong magics , usually of an illusionary nature.
They claim that the ruins of the Ancient Empire were of their making. When it is pointed out the ruins are much bigger than they are, they only reply,
“We were taller then”.