The gnomes have found that their mechanical devices are well-prized by the humans of the winter pines. However, they also make many other mechanical wonders, and have been keen to learn woodwork, metalwork, stonework, leatherwork, textiles, pottery – pretty much anything that helps them build better. Literacy helps them to keep their designs. Some have taken strongly to music as another source of creativity. Some gnomes have moved to Manxiga where their works are in high demand. However, they were denied a home in the already crowded fiery mountains, so sought to live in the swamp mountains, but have found that it is a dangerous life there as well. Some have taken up trade in order to ensure their survival, while others have shunned their racial gift to pursue magic. Gnomes have never really been religious, caring more about devices and knowledge than wisdom.
Their gifting lies in mechanics, and when it comes to mechanical devices, they are the true masters, able to build a machine that can do darn near anything. However, the culture of gnomes not only holds aloft inventing as the lofty and honourable goal of all their kind, but has shaped their attitudes towards mechanics in a strange way, which exalts individual ingenuity and creativity over repeatability and stability. This is the reason why, instead of working to perfect the designs of popular items such as crossbows, ships, carts, wagons, cranes, pulleys and locking mechanisms, they would rather work on gnomeflingers, blamblowers, and donkey powered flying machines.