The word Gnome comes from a Greek word for knowledge. Gnomes live underground and always know where all the precious metals are. They are very hard-working and good-natured, but usually very ugly. No-one ever sees young gnomes, only old ones. Perhaps this is because the younger ones are more easily startled and dissolve into the trunks of trees to hide from humans. Or perhaps it is because there are so many more old ones – they live for hundreds of years!
If a gnome is summoned by magic to help the magician with a problem, it will tend to be rather grumpy. This is because our time and space is uncomfortable for them. They have spent their lives watching the formation of minerals and trying to understand the basic building blocks of life, so they do everything a lot slower than us racy humans. They do, however, love to dance, and if you slow yourself down to their speed by learning to meditate you will find that they are bright and enthusiastic.
Gnomes are vegetarians. They are said to be able to move through the earth like a fish through water.
There are several types of gnome. Woodland gnomes are the most common, although the least seen. They are very shy, and like to take care of sick and injured animals. They generally avoid humans, but have been known to help during spiritual quests. The dune gnome is larger than the woodland, and dresses in more drab clothing, usually khaki coloured. The garden gnome lives in old gardens. He is a sombre gnome, who enjoys melancholy tales, and is very learned.
The house gnome is the type of gnome that knows man the best. He lives in historic old houses and is good natured. He likes to tease people but is not malicious. The gnome king, Gob, comes from this type of gnome. His throne is covered in crystals, silver and gold. He is the guardian of all those who work underground, be they human miners or faeries like dwarves or knockers. The farm gnome is very similar to the house gnome but is much more conservative.
The last type of gnome is not good natured at all, but fortunately it is only found in Siberia, where it has cross-bred with trolls, making it taller than the average European gnome, and not to be trusted!