A Tale of Two Gnomes

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A Tale of Two Gnomes is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

Two Gnomes, A Golem, and A Tavern Misunderstanding

Elanthia is rife with golems and constructs, those magical entities plaguing areas and adventurers for years unknown. How they came to be and why varies, of course, from malevolent magical mishaps to dastardly deceptive deeds to absolute asinine accidents to strange scientific studies and everything in between.

In a small burghal gnome enclave near Tamzyrr, two gnomes named Fryc and Shives made a living studying the remnants of these creatures, collecting parts and using their skills (one with incredible engineering prowess and the other with a predilection for magic and alchemy) to break down how to make a better golem. For a decade, the enclave was overrun with the results of these "Fryc & Shives Laboratory" experiments -- tiny clockwork golems, mid-sized steel automatons, enormous golden constructs -- all created with some variation of trying to "help" that led to more accidents than they did a better quality of life.

At long last, the final straw was laid upon the collective back of the enclave; a large iron automaton meant to work the taps at the local tavern went crazy -- ripping apart kegs and throwing bottles at customers, breaking numerous excellent vintages of whiskey and wine, and destroying a year's worth of the town's ale supply. After subduing and dismantling this golem gone wild, the enclave elders put their feet down and sent the automaton-obsessed pair packing.

They found a home near Summit Academy, setting up their laboratory in an unused basement area beneath the academy with expansions beneath the jousting arena as their enterprises have grown. For years now, they have assisted in the creation of automatons and clockwork devices for a variety of behind-the-scenes tasks for Rumor Wood and Summit Academy, as well as directing collection efforts for magical constructs to study.

In 5124, clockwork golems appeared at Duskruin Arena, allegedly created by those same dwarves responsible for many of the arena automatons. Fryc and Shives both were livid, claiming that these designs were stolen from their research. Their official statement is that these automatons have unique clockwork components that will be integral in future breakthroughs of getting automatons to work for their flesh-and-blood controllers rather than mindlessly attack. However, the dwarven automaton masters refute these allegations. It is believed some settlement between the parties was reached, but the burghal gnomes still grumble from time to time. Given the amount spent at the Dragon Bones table and Conquest Wheel, though, it is believed to have been a most lucrative arrangement (or appeasement, if you will).

In an effort to further assuage these experts integral to the smooth functioning of the annual Rumor Woods event, event organizers tasked Fryc & Shives Laboratories with the creation of clockwork mounts using their newfound technology for more tractable clockwork creations. Internally, Fryc and Shives created a competition between their engineers to develop two mounts for the more adventuresome sorts who are bored with riding a horse.

While all reports point toward the overwhelming success of this endeavor, the competition has allegedly reignited fierce rivalries between different parties, and many insiders have reported the rift may actually have spread to include a break between Fryc and Shives.

Despite these rumors flying through the air, when it comes to the clockwork mounts at least, Fryc & Shives Laboratories appear united in their sales pitch and disclaimers.

They have issued the following statement:
"Fryc & Shives Laboratories are releasing these clockwork mounts with the understanding that any who attempt to appropriate or operate them without the proper knowledge and understanding (in other words, anyone who is not Fryc, Shives, or a member of their expert team of engineers and alchemists) may find unexpected results. All liability rests solely with each individual interacting with these mounts and not with any individual, entity, or agency associated with Rumor Woods, Summit Academy, or Fryc & Shives Laboratories. Any damage to persons or property by said creatures will be the sole responsibility of the purchaser."

Despite these warnings, visitors to the event appear to be collecting these mounts in record numbers this year. Some hypothesize this is going to be Fryc & Shives Laboratories greatest field test ever; meanwhile, in their home enclave, people are securing their precious bottles and kegs -- just in case.


Crafted from crushed beetle carapaces pilfered from Fryc's workshop, alchemically treated spidersilk, and several undisclosed ingredients and processes, veilsylk is a rare material created by the Alchemist-Mage Shives (one half of the infamous Fryc & Shives Laboratories).

Currently, the only way to obtain veilsylk is to support Fryc & Shives by purchasing the spider mount sold at Rumor Woods. The spider's inner machinations will always be working to create more of this material in yarn form, occasionally providing some to its owner.

Shives claims bolts of the material may eventually be sold as well, but the veilsylk yarn is currently unique to the rare spider mounts.

Veilsylk takes a dye, but it is a lovely pale violet naturally with faint hints of lavender-grey swirls. It is a lush material, and its use in yarn will be highly coveted for its soft feel and gorgeous coloring.

OOC Information/Notes

  • Created by GM Xynwen, April 2024
  • Veilsylk requires alter fodder and is not available to be turned into a yarn