The Nature of the Universe
the alchemist gnome
I am Quobis, a gnome, obviously. My life started simply enough, many decades ago, in a small woodland town known as Xilzim, nestled in the Northern Lands. One day when I was still a lad, a traveling merchant troupe passed through the town. Despite being too poor to actually buy anything, the quiet potion salesman demonstrated several amazing effects to me. That’s when I knew I wanted to learn the secrets of alchemy. I then devoted every moment and every copper I found into books and experiments, and yet, after years of study and reclusion I remained of little skill. I almost gave up, but during one harsh winter I finally found success and saved the town by creating a potion of warmth. I’ve been an expert at fire-based alchemy ever since.
I established my own potion shop in Xilzim. In time it grew in reputation such that people started coming to our town just to buy my wares and I began to grow wealthy. More importantly, I met, courted, and married Trilia, my goddess. I could go on to tell you the story of our love, but I’m no bard and wouldn’t hope to do it justice. Suffice to say, my love for her is infinite. I would choose her over alchemy even. I think I said that to her one time, actually. How ironic.
Thirty years ago, a group of foul lizardmen raided Xilzim. They burned the town and murdered many of its people. When they came after me and my wife, I held them at bay with my fire, but Trilia was gravely wounded. With most of my shop destroyed, all I could do was to give her a permanent paralysis poison. It saved her from death, but without the antidote, she’ll never wake again. Alas, I don’t know how to formulate the antidote, and I suspect some of the ingredients will be very hard to come by. I became an adventurer to find the knowledge necessary to reunite with my love. And I must hurry. For while she sleeps agelessly, I am now in advanced middle age and every dawn reminds me of our time slipping away.
As a scientist, I approach all problems logically. I prefer to have a well-thought out plan before embarking on any serious task. I never make an emotional judgment. I am generally peaceful, unless I am threatened or reminded of my plight. Many would consider me aloof, but I’m just thinking. Being an adventurer doesn’t give me a lot of time to quietly study, so most of the time I spend on the road with the party is spent in quiet contemplation of my formulas, in the off chance I think of something that will work. My attitude is usually positive, for I believe all problems can be solved. I favor solutions that bring about the resolution most effectively and quickly, so if violence is called for, so be it. However, I wouldn’t break a law or harm an intelligent creature solely to benefit myself. Seeing others do so makes me distrust them, but sometimes I turn a blind eye towards such things in the name of my ultimate goal. Seems to be required more and more these days…
I don’t practice a codified religion. I have studied alchemy meticulously for most of my life. I have learned that there is an underlying order to universe. Nature isn’t chaos, it’s a harmonious rhythm. It self-sustains. No one or nothing controls it, but it may be possible to learn everything about it. Alchemy is but one facet of nature. If one could learn all there is to know about the great symphony of nature, one could not be distinguished from a god.
Besides alchemy, I much enjoy reading, of course. I’d buy a book instead of a drink, if the option was available. While I’m not terribly fond of the beverages of the big folk, I am skilled enough with potions to craft up the traditional draughts of my people, and I’ll partake during a quiet period. As befits my race, I also enjoy peaceful interludes amongst the animals of the forest. I dislike long-winded discussions over trivialities, singing, crowds, and social functions with no ready benefit. I detest any wasteful destruction of nature. Lastly, though I am aware it is not right to do so, I abhor all lizardmen. I’ll never trust those devious, scaly monsters.