‘Always look before you leap’ was an old saying among gnomes, at least where Conundrum was from. Another saying is that ‘Nothing is ever lost. It’s just waiting to be found again’. This leads me to believe that gnomes lose a lot of things. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about that yet.
Anyway, the gnomes where Conundrum is from have a story about a famous gnomish explorer, adventuring in lands far away. Unfortunately, the old gnome ended up as dinner for a dragon after having jumped off of a cliff.
“But, wait! What would a gnome be doing jumping off of a cliff?”
Well, that’s just one of the many unanswered questions we have about why those silly gnomes do the things they do!
The truth of the matter is, the gnome was sent far away due to the unstable conditions of his experiments, in the hopes that further accidents could be avoided. Some hoped that he would BE the accident. Now, while he did end up as dinner, it was not to a dragon, and nor did he jump. He tripped, rolled, and fell off of the cliff. Over the years the conditions of his demise and the animal that did the eating grew at great lengths.
Arguments over this usually ended with a swift kick to the shins and an uproar of laughter from the dwarves of the tavern as the kicker became the kicked. Gnome punting was a favorite pasttime of the dwarves, as Conundrum was painfully reminded. Sorely, he rubbed his bottom in remembrance, as he trudged through the waist deep snow drifts of Dun Morogh.
He stopped a moment to untangle his feet from his unusually long robes, sopping wet from the snow. As he bent over to facilitate the detangling, he was bumped from behind and promptly fell face first into the snow. Sputtering and flailing his arms madly, sending showers of snow this way and that, he found his footing and straightened himself. He gave a glare behind him at what appeared to be a smaller figure, covered in the snow that he had tossed in his bid to remain standing.
“Master should watch where he is going!” The imp glared back, shaking the snow from his head and shoulders.
Conundrum attempted to make a mean face and return the imp’s glare. Well, as mean a face as a four foot gnome could make, being covered in snow and soaking wet. His shoulders shuddered from the cold and he turned, mumbling something about imp stew. The imp made funny faces at Conundrum’s back, sticking out his tongue and making gestures with his hands. After a moment of two of this, the imp got bored and grudgingly followed after him.
The pair walked for a little while when the imp gave a shriek and dumped himself into the snow. Conundrum tried to jump and turn in mid air, to surprise whatever monstrosity was coming after them. Now, have you ever seen a four foot tall gnome attempt to jump out of a three foot snow drift? The jumping doesn’t work very well. Neither does the turning. Especially in long, oversized robes drenched in melted snow. Again, Conundrum found himself deposited face first in the snow.
“Not a peep Karnam!” Conundrum said angrily, picking himself up. He started walking again, refusing to dust himself off. Karnam popped his little head out of the snow, snickered a bit, and followed his master.
Conundrum marched with a determined stride, the smoke of the Kharanos tavern rising just above the next hill. He stomped with each step he took, taking his frustrations out on the snow in front of him. Karnam watched happily, enjoying in the unfortunate misery of the gnome.
Conundrum took another step and promptly disappeared into the snow.
He could no longer contain himself. Karnam erupted with laughter.