They are reverent and terrified of the creatures of Old magic within the Wolfsktaag Mountains. The Gnomes are the descendants of humans who survived the holocaust of the Great Wars within dense forests. Gnomes are adapted to a forest lifestyle, and some scholars suggest that their exposure to radiation caused a genetic mental retardation in their people (World of Shannara). A tribal and warlike people, the Gnomes were constantly enmeshed in border skirmishes and feuds. Gnomes warriors are typically light skirmishers and scouts, they also rode ponies in the Race Wars as light cavalry. Gnome loremasters were involved in forging the First Council of Paranor, and the Gnomes allied themselves with the other Races against the Southland separatists in the First War of the Races. The Gnome Border Wars of the Eastland raged for many centuries between the Gnomes and Dwarves, who had to share the Eastland between them. The conflict eventually led to the Gnomes being driven into the Northern Anar Forest and east of the Cillidelan (First King of Shannara). Gnome tribes also regularly led raids into the farmlands of the Southland. The Gnomes of the Northland were traditional enemies of the Rock Trolls. In the Second War of the Races, the Gnomes allied themselves with the Army of the Skull; after watching the defeat and subjugation of the larger, fiercer and better organized Rock Trolls. The War decimated the Gnomes, and cost their Race countless casualties. The Mountain Gnomes of the Ravenshorn Mountains were subjugated and enslaved by the Mwellrets. They were forced into constructing a mighty fortress called Graymark, that cost many thousands of slave lives. The Caves of Night were the disposal bins for slaves the Mwellrets no longer needed. The Mwellrets provided the Warlock Lord with a Mountain Gnome army in the Third War of the Races in exchange for being left alone as sovereign rulers of the Ravenshorn. About a century later, this pact was broken when the Mord Wraiths failed to cede the agreement between the Mwellrets and Brona. The Black Walkers seized Graymark for themselves, becoming new and even crueller rulers of the Gnomes, whom they used as soldiers in the War of the Ildatch. The Gnomes fell into line with the Southland Federation a few decades later, although a few tribes rebelled against this expansion of the Human (Scions of Shannara). With the invention of the airship, Gnome raiders took to using light one man airships called flits to harry and harass larger vessels (Jarka Ruus). Gnomes were also the base level troops of the rebel Druids of the Third Druid Council, provided by the Gnome Druid Pyson Wence. This force was dispatched by a Rock Troll army marshalled under Maturen Kermadec of the Kershalt.
The Spider Gnomes are a small group of Gnomes who live in the Darklin Reach. They are more primitive than the other Gnomes and bear an uncanny resemblance to spiders in the way they move. Superstitious in nature, they present sacrifices to the Werebeasts who live in certain areas around their village, especially Olden Moor. In the series The Scions of Shannara, they are also seen to be helping the Shadowen. The Spiders, one of the groups of mutants in the Genesis of Shannara trilogy, are very similar in both beliefs and appearances.
The Stors are a race of Healers, considered to be the best in the world. Unlike the other Gnomes, the Stors have traditionally been committed reverently to a path of benevolent neutrality. Their small town, Storlock, is located in the Eastland. Wil Ohmsford is considered to be the first human to tutor under the Stors. The Stors are stated in World of Shannara, to be an order formed by a Druid of the First Council of Paranor, who was committed to the arts of healing. The order is named after this founding figure. Storlock became legendary across the Four Lands for their amazing ability to combat illness and injury. Storlock almost fell to the Northland Army during the Second War of the Races when a roving Rock Troll platoon appeared at its gates. The Trolls were driven away by the magic of Mareth, an apprentice of the Druid Bremen. The Stors played vital roles in the history of the Four Lands, including saving the last scion of Shannara from poison in the Third War of the Races; and healing the Druid Allanon after a run-in with Demons. The Stors are characteristically silent around foreigners to their order, and wear white robes. The Stors have traditionally maintained subtle alliances with solo Druids such as Cogline and Allanon.
Urdas are half-gnomes, half-trolls that live in the Charnal Mountains and the Inkrim, in the Northland. They are very tribal and superstitious; and although they are small, in large numbers they can be very dangerous. The Urdas are a highly insular people whom even Rock Trolls regard as primitive savages (Tanequil). Urda tribes consider Old World ruins such as Eldwist (Druid of Shannara), and Stridegate (Tanequil) as sacred ground, and respond aggressively to incursions into such territory. They typically live in small fortified villages.
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