Marrow Gnomes are a specialized type of Fey found in some of the deepest dungeons and sections of the nether world. They are a capricious, and highly dangerous distantly related species of Gnomes that specialize in stripping down the remains and corpses of humanoids. They are much smaller then the average Gnome standing only two foot tall and having less then half the hit points of their larger fairy cousins. They make up for this with a mean streak a mile wide and a toothy addiction to the marrow of humanoids of all sizes. The marrow gnomes also have the following innate magical powers they can use once per day; they have access to many of the most common Cantrips of wizards and magic users. They also have the ability use an acidic touch for 1d4 points of damage per round from both their impressive tiny fangs and delicate looking hands. They are servants of Entropy and have deep connections to the Negative material plane enabling them to hide in shadows a per thieves abilities. Marrow gnomes are able to work in swarms of 1d20 individuals to set traps for large humanoid prey. They are often found stripping, and cleaning the bones of their victims and many monsters often employ them to act as a chaotic but efficient clean up crew around lairs. Marrow Gnomes are notorious dungeon gossips and if paid in tiny silver trinkets or dolls toys the gnomes may let slip some important detail or rumor. Marrow gnomes are often found working for certain wizards of a diabolical or twisted bent as they often have vast store houses full of their trophies from their favorite victims. Marrow gnomes live within the walls of dungeons or in vast fungal houses in the underworld where they live and dwell.
Marrow Gnomes are often found in communities of 1d200 individuals where a 2nd or 4th level shaman or wizard will be their leader. Often rich wizards or other occultists will keep a Marrow Gnome colony as a disposal squad for troublesome corpses, remains, and bodies. These colonies often have vaults of Type B or better treasures. They will jealously guard these treasures and the information they have on their victims very rigorously . The Gnomes are often the last rung on the ecological dungeons and ruins.Many times this results in the extermination of certain evil miniature humanoid races in dungeons because of the competition.
Calling Marrow Gnomes via a spell is a risky proposition at best,they sometimes take offense against the wizard or magic user who calls them and begin the process of stripping off the flesh and marrow from their victims or out rightly cursing them.
Call Marrow Gnomes
Level: one wizard or 2nd level cleric
Spell Resistance: No Range: See Text
Effect: Calls and gates in a single marrow gnome who will listen to the proposal for engaging the services of the Gnomes. There is a 40% chance that this little servant of entropy may take offense and curse the wizard who summoned him. Otherwise within 4 rounds the Marrow Gnome will gate in 1d20 more of his colony and within another six rounds gate in another 1d100 gnomes depending upon the job at hand. The range of the spell is line of sight but the little bastards will appear within a twenty foot radius of the caster.
Adventurers and outlaws often encounter Marrow Gnomes deep in the underworld where they move among the various tiers of dungeon Fey with impunity due to their ties with underworld gods and wizards. They have deep and abiding ties with cults of Entropy and decay. Undead loath and hate them, many ghoul clans have a hatred of marrow gnomes because they compete for the same dungeon resources and territory areas. Here then are 1d20 encounters for your old school games for parties to encounter Marrow Gnomes.
1d20 Random Marrow Gnome Encounter Table
- A troupe of Marrow Gnomes on their way back to their village with several semi precious rings looted from corpses.They may trade one or two for a particularly entertaining story or song.
- A single Marrow Gnome scout looking for potential victims for his tribe to take down. There will be 1d30 of the little bastards waiting should this guy be attacked.
- A marrow gnome swarm of 1d100 starving and very dangerous gnomes. They have +2 little knives to help carve up their victims.
- 1d6 tribal gnome elders carrying the corpse of a wizard whom they plain too simply call from beyond the gnomes have a wizard for the rite. These bastards have 1d10 minor treasures on them.
- An ancient evil is causing the gnomes to swarm and so 1d100 gnomes are going to come for your party of adventurers.
- There is a curse of Biblical proportions that is causing the Marrow Gnomes to plan an attack on the local towns. Can your party of professionals help?
- A local wizard is trying to use an ancient device to enslave the local Marrow Gnomes as slaves and heretics.
- A gnome with 1d6 minor treasures and trophies headed back to the colony or nest.
- A shadow demon is on the prowl help clean up several of the master's Gnome mistakes. He needs to start fresh.
- A marrow seller is taking his meat to market and is expecting top dollar for his creations. He is looking for the best secrets on his market supplies.
- Many marrow gnomes run afoul of Carrion Crawlers, this one is crying for help? Are you ready? He will reward each party member with a minor treasure should they save his life.
- An ancient dooms day device has been found and a marrow gnome has the key taken off a dead wizard.
- A Marrow Gnome rot grub seller is on his way to market and is willing to trade a few magical secrets for a particular marrow flavor. This might result in the loss of an adventurer digit or limb.
- A Marrow Gnome is fighting a very nasty violet fungus colony and is looking for some help. He in turn will give your PC's a map to a local dungeon.
- A Marrow Gnome has the secrets of four wizards upon whom he and his clan have faced. He will trade 1d4 secrets for his life.
- An amazing sight as a gang of 1d100 gnomes swarming points to a very dangerous situation. Can you avoid the swarm up ahead of you.
- An ancient spell book has gone missing from your village library and the Marrow Gnomes are looking someone to do the translation of it. They will pay five silver and three gold pieces for the privilege of helping them.
- A distant mutation of the usual Marrow Gnome has manifested in the dungeon and the village elders of the Marrow Gnomes are willing to pay 1d20 silver pieces for a corpse of one of these monsters.
- A Marrow Gnome has the key to awaken a spawn of Cthulhu but a local cult is hunting him.
- The Marrow Gnomes are hunting and tracking your party for rites and to turn them into personal meals. There will be 1d20 gnomes waiting to ambush the party.