Gnomes are one of the most concentrated races in Gielinor, with the exception of humans. Not only do the gnomes have their own empire, but they also have their own foods, clothes, transportation, quests, and even semi-popular minigames called Gnome Ball and the Gnome Restaurant. The Gnome race is primarily located in Kandarin.
Gnomes are much like in real-world folklore. They appear as short men, women, and children, about two to three feet tall (about 0.6 to 1 meters). The gnomes are very human-like, and they often dress in green tunics and trousers, with red or green pointed hats. In many ways, they appear similar to dwarves, although unlike dwarves they rarely have facial hair and have pointed ears similar to the elves. They are related to humans, sharing a common ancestor.
Gnomes are often regarded as more intelligent than most other races, and have a higher standard of living. Gnomes generally love nature, making their homes in treetops and living in heavily wooded forests. Despite their usually peaceful nature, gnomes are well-trained militarily, capable of overwhelming most armies through sheer numbers. They mount prehistoric terrorbirds and battle tortoises in conflict to make up for their small size. Using magic, they have unique illusionary, stealth, Guthixian, and spiritual magic using hybrid Elven/Gnome machinery or meditation to amplify it. Most Gnomes, even civilians, carry bows, and some carry metal weaponry in combat.
Gnomes are a highly diplomatic race, holding alliances with many other mortal races, both in and outside Kandarin. In many large cities and unexplored areas, gnome ambassadors, researchers, or explorers can often be found attempting to increase their knowledge of the world. Gnomes are unique culturally, they love cooking, music, animals and inventing new things. They are also infamous pranksters and are well known for their own sport, Gnome Ball.
Gnomes are perhaps the most technologically advanced race, rivalled only by the elves and the dwarves. One of their most notable invention is the gnome glider, an aerial transport system used both in combat and peace. Also of note is the gnomecopter, a small one-man flying machine that used to give tours to free-to-play players. Other technological innovations include their ballistic military devices, their invention of the parachute, the spring cleaner, and their knowledge of elven crystal equipment.
The gnomes use tortoises and terrorbirds for almost all potential avenues. Both animals can be used for war purposes, though they also have civilian uses, such as mining for tortoises and delivery for terrorbirds.
Gnomes generally follow the god of balance, Guthix; gnomish mages generally use Claws of Guthix in combat, Hazelmere mentions his loyalty to Guthix, Hudo shouting "Great Guthix!" when showing him giant frog legs, Professor Arblenap commenting that the Dwarven Power Station is "not Guthix", Gnome children may recite a prayer to Guthix when spoken to, and the player mentions at one point that they thought Guthix created the gnomes and dwarves as the first races. Additionally, the Battle mages who are aligned with Guthix are gnomes. Guthix himself, in the God Letters, has expressed deep fondness for the Gnomes. And as shown in Armies of Gielinor, Gnomes fought for Guthix in the God Wars.
According to Saradomin, "As I understand it, the gnomes speak their own tongue, yet are also fluent in the common language used by humans within the world, allowing communication to be made between the races." Their own tongue is called Old Gnomish.
History of gnomes
In the Second Age, gnomes dwelt on Gielinor with dwarves, elves and humans. They built great and powerful cities, and many technologies from that period cannot be reproduced today, even with all their wisdom and intelligence.
During the God Wars, gnomes did not fight in the wars, like the dwarves, they hid underground.
Unlike the dwarves however, the gnomes returned to the surface right at the beginning of the Fourth Age during the Great Migration to found their new city, the Tree Gnome Stronghold. This began with the planting of the Grand Tree, and many other settlements were created, such as the Tree Gnome Village. In the early-mid Fourth Age, gnomes had to fight over land with goblin tribes who were driven out from Feldip Hills by ogres and seeking a new place to settle. Eventually, with the help of Glouphrie's illusion tricks, they managed to scare goblins even further north.
The gnomes celebrated their victory, however Glouphrie would be banished from the Stronghold after covering up the death of the Spirit Tree Argento. Glouphrie and his supporters would travel south and found their own city, Arposandra.
The gnomes almost went to war against humanity as a whole when the stronghold Spirit Tree fell ill due to being poisoned with daconia rocks placed by a human, who had been hired by Glough. However, an adventurer discovered Glough's plot and stopped his plans. However, many gnomes still fight Khazard's army outside the Tree Gnome Village.
Civilian gnomes can be stolen from at level 75 Thieving, giving 198.5 experience and various items.
There are only two major Gnomish settlements left on Gielinor. Those being the Tree Gnome Stronghold (shown in red on map) and Tree Gnome Village (blue). The gnome Hazelmere lives on a small islet on the eastern coast of Kandarin (green). A shipyard is also located along the eastern coast of Karamja (shown in brown on the map).
Additionally, the gnomish city of Arposandra is believed to be hidden beneath the Poison Wastes of Tirannwn. Those living in Arposandra hold contrasting views to Gnomes living elsewhere. Arposandra is currently in a state of war with the remaining Gnomish Empire.
The Gnomes have a very sophisticated sense of taste and so they make and eat gourmet foods and cocktails. With a bit of training, the player can also make Gnomish food and drinks. The ingredients for these foods can be purchased from Hudo, Heckel Funch, or looted from gnomes using the Thieving skill.
Gnome clothing such as gnome goggles and gnome scarves more can be found in the clothing store in the Grand Tree, which can be found on the Second floor, in Rometti's Fine Fashions, which is sold by Rometti.
The Gnomes have a few different types of transportation available to humans. One method is the Spirit Tree and another is the Gnome Glider, requiring the Tree Gnome Village and The Grand Tree quests, respectively. Both are for members only, though some can be found in non-member areas. For both methods of transportation the player must have completed a number of quests to fully take use of them. A much less commonly used method involves launching or squishing a Grand seed pod, a possible reward from the Gnome Restaurant activity.
- King Narnode Shareen - King of the Tree Gnome Stronghold
- King Healthorg - Greatest King of the Tree Gnome Stronghold (deceased)
- Glouphrie - Gnome illusionist from the Fourth Age
- Glough - Ex-High Guardian of the Grand Tree
- Oaknock - Master Engineer (deceased)
- Hazelmere - Last of the ancient gnomes
- King Bolren - King of the Tree Gnome Village
- Glouck - Current ruler of Arposandra
- Sergeant Garkor - Leader of the 10th Squad of the Royal Guard
- Commander Montai - Commander of the gnome troops at the Battlefield of Khazard
- Lieutenant Schepbur - Commander of the Armoured Tortoise Regiment
- Daero - High Tree Guardian
- Glophren - Champion of the Gnomes
Gnomes are one of the 'races' who have a champion of champions in the Champions' Challenge Distraction and Diversion. To fight Glophren, the gnome Champion, the player must defeat the 13 lesser champions and the human champion of champions.
- Before the graphical update, the only gnomes with updated chat heads were Laidee Gnonock, Elnock Inquisitor, Yaktwee Swinmari Cianta, and Hazelmere.
- Gnomes fighting in the never-ending war against Khazard's troops will occasionally poke fun at their enemies, such as shouting "Tally Ho".
- Gnomes in RuneScape Classic were green skinned.
- Gnomes resemble J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbits quite a bit. Both gnomes and hobbits are small compared to other human beings and are fond of cooking and eating. Another resemblance is the house of Brimstail, who lives in an underground house, which looks like a hill on the outside. Hobbits tend to live in the exact same sort of 'buildings'.
- Upon their graphical update on 9 February 2011, the gnomes were given blinking eyes and mouths that open and close.