Gnome of Zurich

     Frobozz Magic Company gnome
     Toll Gnome
     Volcano Gnome, 948 GUE
     Gnome Regular, GMU (A) / (higher-res)
     Gnome Toll Collector, GMU (A) / (higher-res)


Gnomes are a race of short, furry people known for their greed and business acumen, usually dwelling underground where they guard their treasures. Occasionally these gnomes were employed for various agencies, with tasks such as toll and fare collectors for the Great Underground Highway Toll System, bank tellers for the Bank of Zork, ticket sellers for Bozbarland, stablework for the Castle of Zork, consultants for the Frobozz Magic Wizard Escape Potion Company (who employed them for its tedious oversized paperwork legal issues before the potion could be used), and presidents of small software firms. In some regions, gnomes have allied with elves, where they stay up all night making the world's best footwear.

Gnomes make efficient workers, due to their stubbornness and will-power, though cost of hire is not cheap, the independent workers usually requiring some sort of ancient relic of valuable treasure. Though helpful, due to both their greed and continuously busy schedules, it would be nigh impossible to find a gnome willing to do charity work.

Gnomish fashion is well-versed, but proper for the business atmosphere, such as loud three-piece suits of bright green and orange, with a thick briefcase at the side. Wire-rimmed bifocals are the style of choice for any slightly-blind gnome. Less civilized gnomes have been known to settle for much less of a flashy appeal. While most gnomes are somewhat civilized, unfriendly gnomes have been known to gnaw wood to pieces.

Gnomes are also highly adept in certain forms of magic, such as teleportation, the creation of bridges (GOLGATEM) and secret passageways, and turning hostile or pestering adventurers in bowls of petunias. Gnomish magic is unique, demonstrated by its twisted tongue, and other components such as the wild waving of the arms, hair flying about the head as though tossed by a fierce wind, and traces of smoke pouring from the ears. Various other pecularities have been observed, all resulting in not only the completion of the spell, but in the exhaustion of the gnome.

Gnomes are members of the Supernatural and Fantastic Wayfarers Association.

Several general groupings of gnomes shall be discussed in more detail.

Carpenter gnomes admire their own handsome craftsmanship, building anything from ladders to kitchen cabinets. They are known to sit around twiddling their thumbs between jobs, waiting for the next craft work to come to them. While they will attempt to construct woodwork out of any substance given to them, the only favorable materials are nails and lumber. Carpenter gnomes refuse to work for free and additionally require that the comissioner gather his own supplies for the project. Built with their own hands, the wooden shelves and cabinets of their carpentry shops are filled with precision tools for crafting. Many times lumber yards dwell nearby, the larger ones run by a foreman.

Volcano gnomes have been spotted mainly working inside the Dungeon of Zork near the ancient volcano which had been hollowed out by Dimwit Flathead (c. 780), where, for a small fee, they help adventurers who have been stranded on the lower levels return to the base of the volcano via magically created doorways and slides. Adventurers should be warned not to delay handing for a valuable, for the gnomes no not patience.

These gnomes all over the Great Underground Empire, though frequently seen sleeping behind the gate, are in fact quiet alert. Though unable to converse with customers as disallowed by the union rules, many have no problem deceptively alluring adventurers into paying a toll much higher than the current Highway fare. With the rise of enchanters and adventurers, many gnomes have allied with trolls in order to be more efficient at protecting their assigned gates. (It may be in the best interest of Enchanters to known that FROTZed coins are not legal tenders.)

There is no gnome greedier that those who reside in the secret underground city of Zurich, where, when not working, continually count their gathered riches. These epicene gnomes commonly work the branches of the Bank of Zork, when they are not greedily tempting adventurers to give them treasures in exchange for their services (which are many times unneeded).