Super Awesome Campaign of Awesomeness
The origin of the gnomes is steeped in mystery and legend. They have long been associated with the elves, and the earliest records of elven society attest to the presence of gnomes among them. Some have suggested that gnomes are the result of the hybridization of dwarves and elves, a suggestion that those two races have denounced as obscene. Elves, particularly Eladrin, are typically horrified at the idea of one of their own mating with another species (half-elves, the offspring of humans and elves, are subject to the same disgust), while dwarves stoutly protest that no self-respecting dwarf in his or her right mind would EVER sleep with an ELF.
Whatever their origin, the gnomes are a small but hardy species who thrive as a subset of the elven society. Though legend records that the two races once lived side-by-side as equals, over the centuries the elves have come to claim cultural, political, and economic dominance, with the gnomes struggling for survival. In the Floating City, the home of the Eladrin, gnomes are hired as servants or given otherwise unwanted duties with little income, with the result that gnomes are often thought of as second-class citizens. Some of the more xenophobic Eladrin think of gnomes as an inferior species, little better than animals.
The elves of the forest below have a more tolerant attitude, and sometimes welcome gnome refugees who escape the Floating City and seek out their aid.