The crack of thunder. The smell of sulfur. These are the two commonly known signs that someone has dealt with a gnome. Having no lands of their own, they travel much like the halflings, but death is usually not directly associated with them. Legend tells that they were once brothers of the dwarves, kicked out for their dangerous experiments. If this is true, neither side will admit to it. Today, the only dealings the two have with each other is the trade of explosives that dwarves use for expanding their inner-mountain keeps. To the rest of the world, they are mercenaries that sell their lethal alternative-weapons to the highest bidder.
Shorter and thinner than dwarves, the gnomes accentuate the other traits that dwarves have twofold. Their noses are larger, eyebrows bushier, beards larger. Quite often they dress in strange garb that is well-suited to their trade, usually with a form of fire-proofing. Gnomes bare many scars from failed experiments, and they believe that more failed experiments means more creativity. Succeeding often leads to complacency.
Common stereotypes about gnomes are that they are all insane, that the size of their nose is directly related to their wallet, and that anything they touch has a high chance of exploding soon.