Brother and kin to the smithies of metal,
Dweller of fields and lands unsettled.
Other kin to that burly bearded tinker,
Stellar craftsman am I too, and deep thinker.
Treasures of the earth lay bare to see,
Dark and shadows mean nothing to me.
Pleasures of wisdom are open and free,
Mark me, though smaller I'll always be.
Droll and spry, wise and wry,
Oh me oh my, what am I?

--Traditional Gnomish Riddle


Gnomes are distant kin to dwarves but are noticeably smaller than their
cousins.  Gnomes are wiser than any other race but slightly below average
in most other abilities.  They are resistant to poison and mental attacks
but are vulnerable to blunt weapons and find it hard to swim.  They sense 
disturbances in the earth and also see in the dark using infravision.