The clever, spunky, and oftentimes eccentric gnomes present a unique paradox among the civilized races of Azeroth. Brilliant inventors with an irrepressibly cheerful disposition, this race has suffered treachery, displacement, and near-genocide. It is their remarkable optimism in the face of such calamity that symbolizes the truly unshakable spirit of the gnomes. A race of diminutive beings, gnomes have made their mark on Azeroth through the application of a collective intelligence and ambition overshadowing that of their larger peers. Gnomes are renowned mechanics, engineers, and technicians, widely respected for their knowledge of the scientific facets of the world and their ability to transform said knowledge into surprising tools, vehicles, armor, and weapons.
Little is known concerning gnomish history previous to the Second Warâ€”even among gnomes themselves. Much of gnomish philosophy is focused on forward-thinking, inventive concepts; little thought has ever been given to history or non-scientific records. However, recent developments have uncovered evidence of prehistoric mecha gnomes created by the titans to help shape the lands of Azeroth. Like many of the titansâ€™ creations, these helpers were afflicted with the curse of flesh, and they became what is known as the gnome race today. It wasnâ€™t until their discovery by the dwarves centuries later that gnomes were recognized as a viable and important race.
The dwarves were impressed with the ingenuity and quickness of their smaller â€œkinâ€ (for they had also been titan-forged and similarly cursed), and they assisted the gnomes in constructing a capital city, Gnomeregan, in the foothills of Dun Morogh near the dwarvesâ€™ own capital of Iron forge. From their wondrous techno-city, gnomes provided invaluable support in weaponry, vehicles, and energetic troops to theAllianceof dwarves, humans, and high elves.But when the Burning Legion invaded, the gnomes strangely refused to send aid to their allies. It wasnâ€™t until the war had ended that theAlliancelearned the reason for the gnomesâ€™ withdrawal. Around the time of the Third War, an ancient menace had risen from the bowels of Azeroth to strike at Gnomeregan. Knowing that their alliesâ€™ priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the gnomes decided to make their stand alone. Though they fought valiantly to save their beloved city, Gnomeregan was lost.