• As the morning sun peered over the horizon, its warm embracing rays began to brighten another day
    in the village of the Foothill Gnomes. Located at the base of the Black Mountains, where for hundreds of years this clan of Foothill Gnomes have lived, died, passed on their ways from one generation to the next, but this was the day that would change all that they have known and set a new way for the Foothills Gnomes of the Black Mountains.
    As the gnomes awoke to start their day their hearts were fill with the safe secure feeling their home gave them. Peace and happiness that most gnomes of their day had not yet found resided in each ones heart.
    Mid-morning was upon them and a bell began to clang and ding, echoing across the village and deep into the surrounding forest, alerting the village that the time had arrived for the gathering of the gnome council. The council convened two days after every full moon and was a collection of powerful and respected gnome. Wise sages, high mages, high clerics of the gnome temple, and leaders of the Foothill Brigade, the security, army, and enforcers of village law.
    All met in the the Great Hall, a huge wooden structure housing many books and holding many secrets of the gnome way of life and history. The attendees of the meeting were seated around a huge table with a large oak chair reserved for Lochley the wise leader of the clan.
    As the council met others in the village attended to their daily tasks, some worked the fields, others cut wood, some attended their studies and quite a few were hard at work tinkering and inventing devices and such.
    Noon rolled around, the gnomes were toiling away at their daily tasks when a loud, deep sound blared across the village. A guard yelled out from the watch tower," Goblin war trumpets, the goblin are on the attack!" The village broke out in an uproar, female gnomes and younglings screamed and ran into homes and burrows for safety, the males of the village began to set up and prepare their defenses. The guard screamed out form the tower," Evacuate the village their numbers are too great!" Just as the words left his lips flaming balls of fire fell down on the village. The tower fell crushing the guard and burst into flames, homes and structures were crushed under the force of the falling objects, catching on fire and destroying large areas of the village. Gnome after gnome were dying whether by fire or simply crushed.
    The doors to the Great Hall flung open the sages and mages stood ready, the brigade rolled out catapults hidden in buildings and under bushed, others simply drew their weapon or grabbed what was handy to use. Bravely the gnomes took their stand to defend their family and homes. They moved forward to engage the invading forces, but were met with rocks, fire balls, and volley after volley of arrows.
    Gnomes began to fall, crushed by rocks or collapsing structures, burned alive, or struck down by arrows. Bodies began to fill the streets, cries of agony and woe filled the air, the once serene peaceful feeling of the village was replaced with fear and agony as the goblins rushed the village in massive numbers. Hundreds of goblins began to lay waste to the village and the gnomes. Cut down with swords and knives, some were bludgeoned to death with clubs and sticks others were crushed and trampled under goblin foot. The braves gnomes defending the village were soon overpowered and butchered by just the sheer number of goblins.
    Those that fled were quickly captured and tortured or just skinned alive. Others that were caught were tossed in fires and burned. The attack was quick and the battle was ended in less than and hour.
    As the sun grew low in the sky the remnants of the village smoke and smoldered, wild dogs began to drag off the bodies closest to the forest edge. Foot soldiers searched the village killing off any survivors to ensure none was left alive.
    In the ruble that once was the Great Hall a piece of timber began to move, crawling out from under the timber was a bruised and bleeding little gnome. Wearing a red cloak and holding an old pack in his hand, he limped out of the ruble and began to lay eyes upon what was once his home. This sight seemingly ripped his heart from his chest and changed him, the once fun loving playful gnome was now full of sadness and pain. He began to make his way to the back of the ruins of the Great Hall in order to access the secret vault. This vault contained the gnomes most valuable treasures, the great gnomish book which held secrets and history of his clan and the great treasure of the gnomes.
    Unknown to the gnome, his bleeding arm left drops on the ground and was quickly spotted by the foot patrol. Making his into the vault he grabbed the gnomish book and the treasure and stuffed them in his pack. Pulling the pack tightly close he then began to awkwardly make his way out of the vault. As he emerged from the vault he was greeted with loud grunts and snarls. Seeing the two goblins with their blades drawn and advancing on him he quickly reacted, saying an inaudible word under his breath the palm of his hand began to glow, forming a bright ball of light, standing tall as was possible for his three and a half foot frame he sailed the ball toward the goblins and loudly said,"flash!" the ball exploded into a blinding bright flash causing the goblins to become temporarily blind and disoriented.
    This was his chance to flee, the little gnome clutched his pack close to his chest and ran as well as he could into the forest. After a little ways in he heard the rustling of leaves, snapping of twigs and a loud bone chilling cry. He knew they were on his trail and he didn't know how much more his injured and weakened body would hold up.
    Coming upon a small gully he seen his chance to hide. In the gully a tree had fallen and was hollowed on one end, being small the gnome crawled into the opening, making some hand gestures the opening seemed to close shut and fill in with wood. Sitting with his knees pulled to his chest arms folded he laid his head down and began to weep and become lite headed and dizzy. Soon he was out and into a dreamless coma like sleep.
    Awakening his vision slowly cleared and his senses came to him and he realized he had fallen asleep and was unaware of how long he had been out. Listening closely for any signs of the goblins, the gnome thought it might be best if he waited here for a little longer. Laying his down he began to doze and fell into another deep sleep.
    After being inside the fallen tree for over a day and a half the gnome clutched his pack and made his way out of the tree and began to flee through the forest in hopes of finding a road or river he could use to find a safer place and to figure out what he must do about his situation. Making it to a road he began to follow it and has he walked he thought of how he was most likely the last member of his clan and that he alone now held all their knowledge and history in the gnomish book and there precious treasure. These thoughts played over in is mind and other thoughts of his home and lessons he was taught. After mulling it over in his head the only conclusion he came too was to study the gnomish book and learn all he could from it and to learn all he could from the world and become a gnome that his fallen kin would be proud of. So he made a personal vow to learn all the knowledge he could, keep a steady record in the book so others will know the tale of his clan and to one day share this knowledge with other gnomes and when his travels are done settle down for a quiet solemn life.
    It has been over three years since the Black Mountain Foothill Gnomes were exterminated and the sole survivor known as Gerbo Fleetfoot, now accompanied by a female crow he calls Kailah, began his travels.