The Telluric Threnody
A race once known for the curiosity and childlike wonder of its people, with eccentric individuals spending their days tinkering with mechanics of practicing illusion while deriving pleasure from precious gems and talking to small woodland animals, it is now a race of bitter folk who have experienced the worst horrors and are willing to do anything if it might promise to stave of the impending destruction of their race.
When the Telluric finally cracked, the largest rift was deep beneath the bustling home of the Rock gnomes. From this rift forces of unspeakable horror have issued fourth and pressed directly onto the heart of gnome society. The initial attacks were swift and unpredictable. Most of proper gnomish society was obliterated and the remaining defenders have quickly turned their last city of wonder and magic into a forges of mechanical and illusory death. Gnomish toys have been turned into clockwork soldiers and tanks. Gnomish traders have become recruiters of mercenaries or enslaves of orcs and goblins in an attempt to bolster the meager forces defending the last of the gnomes. Forest gnomes have become nihilistic raiders hoping to score needed supplies or slaves to fight for their brethren and some have taken up with the elves that seek to annihilate all magic users.
Thus a once innocent and wise race has been reduced to a wounded animal with its back against the wall. Gnomes will bend all of their efforts and talents into the utter destruction of the forces that seek to annihilate their race. While they work every angle to gather more strength while holding the line in their ancestral homeland, other political entities wonder if the gnomes should be allowed to succeed. If they defeat their planar enemies, who will stop them if they turn their vast and honed war-machine onto other powers?