Inyexat/People of the Stars

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Inyexat/People of the Stars is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

People of the Stars: Forest Gnomes in Atan Irith

When Sky Met Stars

When we arrived in Elanthia, it was clearly a shock to the self-named People of the Stars. As written about extensively in other documents, it was a tumultuous time for the erithi. Left unsaid, however, is how meeting the forest gnomes of Atan Irith assisted. When we chose to make ourselves known to the rest of Elanthia, that was a choice decided amongst the erithi after decades of deliberation; our forest gnome brethren, while supportive of our choice, were not yet ready to share their secrets with the world at large, and we honored it.

At long last, the Inyexat are ready to share themselves with Elanthia through the words of one of their foremost scholars. I am pleased to present to you a brief history of the People of the Stars, the Inyexat, the forest gnomes of Atan Irith.

--Isienaka, Chief Scholar of Atan Irith, in the year 5122


Much has been hypothesized about the origins of gnomes, both forest and burghal, assuming some sort of shared ancestor in the near-bestial gnomes besetting the peoples of Elanith. However, it is our understanding from the Teachings that the Inyexat came first until the Great Rift caused an exodus of gnomes to the continent of Elanith, leaving only the hardiest, most dedicated of the gnomes on Atan Irith -- the Inyexat, or People of the Stars Who Stayed.

From this exodus, the gnomes who left Atan Irith experienced their own rift, and the burghal gnomes and the forest gnomes, while sharing common languages and ancestry, were so split that mere cultural differences could not account for it, and to this day, they are considered separate races. Based on our scientists' and scholars' best research, those who stayed in the forests are still similar enough to their roots that we feel comfortable calling them kith and kin, even if they have forgotten us.

We understand this perspective will be a radically different one than those postulated by elven scholars in years past, and indeed, while we have histories, both oral and written, seemingly supporting our stance, we must admit that there are some among us who believe we traveled from Elanith to Atan Irith sometimes after the forest gnomes split from the burghal gnomes.

What we know definitively is that we are the Inyexat. And we thank our erithi brethren for maintaining our secrets these last decades.

--Baxilta, Celestial Sage of the Inyexat

The Inyexat: People of the Stars

We are, in general, peaceful, and our ties with the erithi since they arrived on our continent are close. Indeed, their similar outlook to life is part of what built our trust with them early on and solidified a centuries-spanning closeness and appreciation.

Inyexat often have a bit of the wanderlust, and it is not unusual to find my brethren wandering the continent, and we have several smaller villages, enclaves, and outposts across the forests of Atan Irith. However, across the mountains and nestled in a valley in the southeast is the city of Inye'vexl where most of the Inyexat choose to call home.

The City of Falling Stars

"The journey through the mountain pass was one of cold beauty, and on the other side, the largest ghostwood forest I’ve ever seen. Over smaller mountains and hills, across streams, we went, until the leader of our party stopped. "We are almost here," he informed me, and I stared at him in disbelief, as no sign of a city was evident. "Trust in us," he said, and we wandered down a narrow path into a deep valley. I felt the strangest desire to turn around and go back, but the Inyexat nearest to me encouraged me onward, and suddenly, the forest opened up and the bitter cold air of the high mountain region disappeared.

I stood gaping for several seconds. Before me was lush greenery, and the temperature had changed from subarctic to warmly temperate. The path widened to a road wide enough for three wagons to travel side by side, and Inyexat riding large, muscular capybaras brandished sharp spears, bows, and other weapons as they patrolled.

After another thirty minutes, I stopped again in awe. Before us stood an enormous wall, its gate flanked by vine-covered capybara statues, everything standing easily four times taller than the tallest giant. Heavy reinforced gates were opened, and a steady stream of people and goods, all dwarfed by the magnitude of the city’s walls, went to and fro.

After much prodding, I began to move again, and we entered the city. Describing the city itself is no mean feat. It was expansive, with stone buildings layered against the walls and across the area in intentionally convoluted and intricate patterns made to imitate favored constellations. Each area had their own market, with a much larger plaza at the center of the city where a pyramidical structure reigned supreme." – From the journals of Erielaka, Chief Scholar of Atan Erith (Year 20-100).

The City of Falling Stars, Inye’vexl, is the primary home of the Inyexat. Found nestled in a valley deep within the northeastern mountains of Atan Irith, our ancestors wove protective magics long lost to us. Since the Great Rift, no outsider had ever been welcomed to Inye'vexl; Scholar Erielaka was the first one. Even today, being allowed to pass the protective barriers into the environs of Inye'vexl is rare, but our erithi brethren are welcomed far and wide to our smaller enclaves and villages dotted throughout Atan Irith.

The description rendered these many hundreds of years ago by Scholar Erielaka remains accurate to this day. Inye'vexl is in a valley, magically protected from unwanted visitation. Within the environs of Inye'vexl, the flora grows lush and thick, the temperate climate an anomaly within the subarctic surroundings.

Here, we settled and built a magnificent enclave, each area of the city with its own gardens and wilds to lessen the feel of a "city" and to keep the feel of the forests. Given our affinity to the constellations, each area twists and turns between tall statues serving as the points in the zone's namesake constellation. No consistency exists from statue-to-statue, so long as it is tall enough to serve as the "star-point," it can be whatever the sculptor wants. One of the oldest areas of Inye'vexl is based on the Toadstool constellation (known as "the Hammer" in Elanith), and the long-ago artist rendered each star-point statue in an homage to his favorite lovers. This instigated a minor riot one evening between the chosen five individuals and those left unchosen, halted only by a mystic offering to share her dreamwine with any who threw down arms. This resulted in lengthy naps by all parties, and everyone awoke calmer.

Inyexat often ride oversized capybaras as our mount of choice; with the assistance of our scientists and alchemists, these capybaras have been especially bred for sturdiness and size. Inyexat on specific quests or rites of travel must eschew such transportation, walking being required in those cases. The use of capybaras is most prevalent with those of us living in or around the protected environs of Inye'vexl, other settlements tending toward small ponies or other mounts. In those settlements, capybaras were bred for tininess and tractability, becoming household pets; these miniaturized capybaras are known as capyxitas. A capyxita is roughly a quarter of the size of a normal capybara; they are generally loyal and loveable pets.

Children of the Starlit Wilds, the Star-Spears, and the Star-Evokers

While many Inyexat are content to turn skills toward hearth and home, farm and flame, shop and sun, we also delve into deeper secrets of the world. Known as the Children of the Starlit Wilds, Inyexat mystics seek great portents for our people from their skilled methods of divination.

The most common form of Inyexat divination combines the study of the constellations with a mastery of mycology. Mycomancy involves traveling outside the city, and indeed, often outside the protected valley. The Starlit seeks out clearings and glades, looking for mushrooms and various fungi (ghostlight mushrooms and star-seeking toadstools being most efficacious for readings). Once an optimal spot is found, the Starlit prepares their rituals and waits for night to fall. Readings are done based on the position of the constellations in the sky, how it hits the mushrooms chosen, and various other factors.

A newer group of mycomancers has been studying the effect of moonlight upon their divinations, experimenting with readings based not just on stars, but on the various moons and their phases. Little is known yet about what may be gleaned here, as the Starlit Wilds keeps much of their process secret, even from Inyexat scholars.

Oneiromancy is the other primary method of divination. For the Inyexat, this comprises drinking heavily of dreamwine and falling into a deep sleep to explore the recesses of one's mind and find the enlightenment necessary to complete a reading for a patron. They first learn to create dreamwine under the tutelage of a master, and over time, they find their own special blends to create a dreamwine unique to them. The primary ingredients in dreamwine are crushed lotus petals and fermented ghostvine berries. Mycomancers assist the oneiromancer in finding the right combination of psychoactive fungi for the individual to add to the concoction for best divining results.

Unlike the mycomancers, oneiromancers typically perform their rituals within the city, either at their home or in another location deemed "special," to the diviner. That is not to say they perform no outdoor rituals, for oneiromancy is very individualized. One acclaimed oneiromancer several hundred years ago would only perform their rituals in a remote hot spring deep within the Ghostwoods when Liabo was but a crescent in the sky. They required a companion to join them in the waters to keep them from drowning as they slept.

In Inye'vexl today, one prominent oneiromancer can only perform her ritual if the target of her divination is also asleep beside her, as she reads another's dreams and not her own. Patrons swear by her methods and results, despite numerous grumblings from other oneiromancers of the Starlit Wilds.

Regardless of primary divination methods, each Child of the Starlit Wilds must at times traverse the lands. Given the unavoidable periods of time when these precious diviners are vulnerable, companions are provided in the form of the Star-Spears and the Star-Evokers.

The Star-Spears are warriors dedicated to serving the Children of the Starlit Wilds. They begin their training like all our warriors do, but if they also show an aptitude for magic or divination, they are taken in by the Starlit Wilds for the remainder of their training. In addition to combat skills, the Star-Spears learn the details of mycomancy and oneiromancy, how to recognize when their Starlit one is in true jeopardy from their craft, and when to let the reading continue.

The Star-Evokers are mages dedicated to the Starlit Wilds. Again, they begin training like all wizards do, but those with certain affinities are then chosen by the Starlit Wilds to continue. Depending on their skills, a Starlit may seek to imbue their divination with some of the magical skills of their Star-Evoker companion. Otherwise, the Star-Evoker stands guard with the Star-Spear.

While methods and types of journeys vary over a Starlit's lifetime, each Child of the Starlit Wilds goes through the saq'ixa, a type of initiation ritual. With their newly appointed Star-Spear and Star-Evoker, the initiate must leave the valley and seek out a ring of ghostlight mushrooms and perform a divination that reveals their xi'quetz, or animal companion. Teadragons are the most common companion revealed by the saq'ixa, followed closely by capyxitas. Less common are the V'tullian nightjars and other birds of Atan Irith. Finally, the rare axolotl, found only in the Undermere, a hard-to-reach swampy lake south of Inye'vexl, may also be revealed. This, however, is considered an unusual and portentous event; it is closely scrutinized by Starlit elders before the final leg of the quest -- to obtain the companion -- is allowed.

After an initiate has completed the saq'ixa, they are welcomed as a full member of the Starlit Wilds. They are able to take on patrons and customers to perform divinations for, as well as seek out answers to their own burning questions.

Rites of Travel

As mentioned earlier, we have a strong streak of wanderlust, and this has led many adventurous Inyexat to leave the relative safety of Atan Irith and travel to other locales. Protection of our culture is paramount, however, and all Inyexat who leave have taken care to hide details of their upbringing.

Inyexat rites of passage include traveling. While these are typically conducted within Atan Irith, it is acceptable to conduct the travel rites by leaving the continent entirely. An Inyexat who travels by oneself outside Atan Irith is conducting the saq'gnovit, while traveling with an erithi companion is the saq'gnoeri. Rarely, a Child of the Starlit Wilds wishes to quest outside Atan Irith, seeking divination answers under unfamiliar skies. In these cases, the Starlit and their two companions are conducting a saq'gnoqelt.

In each case, returning from such quests mark times of celebration by the Inyexat's friends and family. The welcome home celebration, or chayutik, is a time of great feasting, with divinations being performed for the returning wanderer.

A Brief Note on Language

Language and its evolution is a fascinating and frustrating subject. Based on my research, many gnomes, forest and burghal alike, are quite frustrated with the term gnome itself, given how elves and humans used it to tie us directly in ancestry to the more bestial gnomes of caves.

In Gnomish itself, we call our language V'xnoma and the Commonization of it to gnome makes sense, as without a trained ear, it more than likely sounds a great deal like gnome. Indeed, even amongst ourselves, it is often shortened to something quite similar. With the similarity to the names given cave gnomes and our smaller stature, it was thus assumed not only were we gnomes, but we were some sort of intelligent relation.

In V'xnoma then, we are ya'xnotila, or People of the Green Forests, and our brethren, the burghal gnomes, are vad'xnotaxa, or People of the Hearth. Collectively, we may refer to ourselves as xnomixa, given our common ancestry. Our scientists firmly believe cave gnomes are not related to the xnomixa. Indeed, our term for them in Gnomish is totally unrelated to the roots of our own names – okibnil, or "cave crawler."

Inyexi is similar to, but separate from, V'xnoma, but according to the Teachings, when forest and burghal gnomes split from us, we made an effort to learn and maintain knowledge of this language. It is important to note, however, that our speaking of Gnomish is used as proof by other factions that the Inyexat (and hence Inyexi) split from the other gnomes and not vice versa as the Teachings state.

The use of "gno" is quite prevalent within the Gnomish language, having a similar origin and use as the "xno" affix. This further solidified the belief that Gnomish and gnome were our native words. This, coupled with increasing influence between other races and gnomes has led to the adoption of "Gnomish," "forest gnome," and "burghal gnome," with very little pushback from gnomes. As long as the intention is not one of derision, we believe most of us are content to let it lie, so long as the truth is known.


Exposing ourselves to the world at large after so many centuries of comfortable anonymity has been a difficult task for many Inyexat, but our best myomancers and oneiromancers agreed it was a portentous time to do so. We have many young Inyexat seeking ever more frequently to traverse the world, and we wish them to be able to do so without hiding behind another's culture.

While we shall keep our borders themselves closed, our knowledge is here to be shared.

OOC Info

  • Written by GM Xynwen, 2022
  • Roleplay Tips
    • Inyexat do travel, but even if they said they were from Atan Irith, they would never have given details about being Inyexat until now
    • Most would claim to be another forest gnome culture or choose not to state a specific culture

Pronunciation Guide

Note: I am no linguist, so these are stabs at how I pronounce it in my head. We probably need Milax to do a TSC podcast with me just pronouncing all the words I've made up for you!

  • Chayutik: chai you teak
  • Inye: in yeh
  • Inyexat: in yecks it
  • Inyexi: in yecks eee
  • Inye'vexl: in yeh vex ul
  • Okibnil: oh kib kneel
  • Saq'gnoeri: sack no err ee
  • Saq'gnoqelt: sack no kelt
  • Saq'gnovit: sack no vit
  • Saq'ixa: sack ick za
  • Vad'xnotaxa: vad no tax uh
  • V'xnoma: vuh no muh
  • Xi'qetz: zee ketz
  • Xnomixa: no mix uh
  • Ya'xnotila: yah no tea lah