The clever, spunky, and oftentimes eccentric gnomes present a unique paradox among the civilized races of Azeroth. Brilliant inventors with an irrepressibly cheerful disposition, this race has suffered treachery, displacement, and near-genocide. It is their remarkable optimism in the face of such calamity that symbolizes the truly unshakable spirit of the gnomes.
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A race of diminutive beings, gnomes have made their mark on Azeroth through the application of a collective intelligence and ambition overshadowing that of their larger peers. Gnomes are renowned mechanics, engineers, and technicians, widely respected for their knowledge of the scientific facets of the world and their ability to transform said knowledge into surprising tools, vehicles, armor, and weapons.

Little is known concerning gnomish history previous to the Second War—even among gnomes themselves. Much of gnomish philosophy is focused on forward-thinking, inventive concepts; little thought has ever been given to history or non-scientific records. However, recent developments have uncovered evidence of prehistoric mechagnomes created by the titans to help shape the lands of Azeroth. Like many of the titans’ creations, these helpers were afflicted with the curse of flesh, and they became what is known as the gnome race today.

It wasn’t until their discovery by the dwarves centuries later that gnomes were recognized as a viable and important race. The dwarves were impressed with the ingenuity and quickness of their smaller “kin” (for they had also been titan-forged and similarly cursed), and they assisted the gnomes in constructing a capital city, Gnomeregan, in the foothills of Dun Morogh near the dwarves’ own capital of Ironforge. From their wondrous techno-city, gnomes provided invaluable support in weaponry, vehicles, and energetic troops to the Alliance of dwarves, humans, and high elves.

But when the Burning Legion invaded, the gnomes strangely refused to send aid to their allies. It wasn’t until the war had ended that the Alliance learned the reason for the gnomes’ withdrawal. Around the time of the Third War, an ancient menace had risen from the bowels of Azeroth to strike at Gnomeregan. Knowing that their allies’ priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the gnomes decided to make their stand alone. Though they fought valiantly to save their beloved city, Gnomeregan was lost.

Most of the gnome race was wiped out during the fall of Gnomeregan; some say that as much as 80 percent of the gnomes died during those horrible days. The few survivors fled to the safety of nearby Ironforge. There they quietly went about rebuilding their forces, healing their wounds, and preparing to retake their ravaged city.

Just prior to the Cataclysm, the gnomes’ leader, High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, led an attack on Gnomeregan’s invaders. It was a successful first maneuver, but there will be much more bloodshed before the entirety of the gnomeland is liberated. 

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