Gnomish Vassalage

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The original inhabitants during the occupation of Old Hakan, the Gnomes, fought bitterly for their homes in an insurrection that lasted for centuries. Aided by the Dwarves, the Gnomes were a constant thorn in their occupiers' sides, and though they were fiercely and even brutally punished on a regular basis, the Gnomes never fully submitted their homeland to the Empire.

Things continued this way for some three-hundred years, until the Peace of Three Nations was signed in 2112 BI. Among other things, this treaty specified that, rather than giving aid to the Gnomes, the Dwarves would take them on as vassals in their own kingdom. Old Hakan was dissolved, and the Gnomes were forced to integrate into Dwarven culture. As before, Gnomish stubbornness never allowed them to fully submit, and although they lived peaceably enough with the Dwarves, the Gnomes clung fiercely to their heritage, and would always remember how they got to where they were.

In 19 BI, following Alexandria's Crusade, a New Hakan was created from territory owned by Fresia and Gildenhome, displacing the Hakni Humans who currently occupied the area (and were given territories from Ubrekt in recompense). Through this act, many Gnomes found their long wait and bitter memories vindicated, and as a result, Gnomish culture is deeply marked by overwhelming--almost fanatical--national pride.